MORGANTON, N.C. -- Governor Roy Cooper came to Burke County Tuesday to tout the expansion and creation of around 145 jobs at Continental's Morganton plant.

The investment coincided with the German auto parts manufacturer marking the plant's 25th anniversary.

Still, the governor said North Carolina's manufacturing base has a long climb to recovery following the 2008 recession.

"The jobs are there," Gov. Cooper said. "We just have to go get them and make sure our people are trained and have the education to be able to do them."

In particular, he and other state leaders are competing to bring Amazon's second headquarters to the state, which could potentially create 50,000 jobs.

Amazon's criteria include the presence of an educated, highly trained and reliable workforce; the same elements that plant manager David Jones said convinced Continental to continue investing in Burke County.

"We've had tremendous success for the last 25 years," Jones said. "Our company has enormous confidence in our workforce and in our capabilities and our competence."

The 145 jobs will be filled between now and 2020.