Mount Holly prepares for presidential visit - | WBTV Charlotte

Mount Holly prepares for presidential visit

 MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (WBTV/AP)) - President Barack Obama is planning another trip to North Carolina, this time visiting a truck plant that has been hiring new workers to help fill an up tick in orders.

Obama will talk Wednesday about the economy at a Freightliner plant in , Mount Holly a community of 14,000 people south of Charlotte. It's one of three Freightliner plants in the Charlotte area.

Downtown Mount Holly is taking on the appearance of central casting.

Flags are being rolled out and sidewalks swept clean.

Conversations up and down Main Street during the lunch time hour centered on Wednesday's presidential theme.

Jack Acheson lives in Gaston County, and welcomes the visit.

"The economy seems to growing in this general area of Gaston County," he said.

 A rebounding economy and increased productivity at Daimler are what's bringing Mr. Obama to Gaston County.

In recent years, there's been a spike in manufacturing and in turn more trucks and vehicle parts have rolled off the assembly line.

Pride can be found in one part of the county, but across U.S. 74 are the blatant reminders of pain.

Audie Fortner spent half of her 84 years working at nearby Stowe Mills in Belmont.

Textiles were once the engine that drove this town, but these days places that hummed are lifeless.

Fortner remembers better days.

She said, "It's just so disappointing. It makes you want to cry."

Tears of joy may be returning to Mount Holly, because when more folks are on the clock at the truck plant it means that some of the dollars are headed downtown to places like Ansley Bess's consignment shop.

She said, "It's really encouraging to see that this community can come together, and again being producing things and being a good contributor to the economy."

President Obama is scheduled to arrive in Charlotte just before noon on Wednesday and deliver a speech at the Daimler Truck facility in Mount Holly.

His trip comes less than a week after first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited North Carolina, a key battleground state for the presidential election.

         

At one time, the Freightliner plant in Cleveland employed nearly 4,000 workers. Now it has about 1,600. But union president Corey Hill says more callbacks on the way.

Copyright 2012  WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved

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