North Carolina man launches mobile manufacturing education program

By Kaitlin Miller TriadPUBLISHED 3:45 PM ET Jul. 30, 2021


HIGH POINT, N.C. — The manufacturing industry is growing rapidly in North Carolina, especially with the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan, which focuses on revitalizing manufacturing.

Joel Leonard bought a trailer last spring so he could launch an educational program on the road, teaching children in rural or underserved communities manufacturing and life skills.

“Your future is so bright, you’ve got to wear shades,” Leonard emphasized.

He says with the push to expand the manufacturing industry in North Carolina, these kids right here, the next generation, have to be given the proper tools to set them up for success.

“It’s been my life’s mission to build the next generation of skilled technicians,” Leonard said.

At a stop in High Point, he’s teaching students how to make a photo collage using a laser engraving machine. He says these skills could lead to careers.

“Then when they start to realize there’s money that they could be making in their future because of what I’m exposing them to is really gratifying,” Leonard said.

Leonard says these kids are extremely smart, so he wants to help set them up for a bright future, and he loves every minute of it.

“This is my future. This is my retirement plan, and I’ll be doing this the rest of my life,” Leonard emphasized.

Leonard has a whole summer tour still ahead of him where he’ll be traveling the entire country in his trailer to continue inspiring the next generation.