THOMASVILLE, N.C. — The recent House of Representatives budget proposal calls for one of the largest mass layoffs of education personnel in state history. And as teachers brace for the final outcome, Gov. Bev Perdue is traveling the state talking about the importance of their work.

Perdue was in the Triad Wednesday, speaking with students and faculty at Davidson County Community College on the importance of education in our state’s economic recovery.

"You can’t separate the fact that you have to have an investment in education, to have workers who can get jobs in an economy like we live in. And this community college is targeting the jobs they train for," Perdue said.

It provides training in areas like automotive services, robotics, nursing, and even EMS.

But with looming state budget cuts, funding for education is likely to drop dramatically, something Perdue says she’s taken a solid stance against.

"The budget that I sent to the General Assembly in March, continues the sales tax at 7.5 percent, that’s 23 cents a day for adults in North Carolina, 23 cents a day,” said Perdue. “I believe everyone in this state would be glad to pay 23 cents to keep people off unemployment, to keep people working and to keep our economy healthy and to make sure this state remains competitive.”

The new focus falls on the heels of the Governor’s Jobs Tour last month where she announced thousands of new and retained jobs, and a quarter of a million dollars in new business investments right here in the state of North Carolina.

But she says without continued funding for community colleges, those attempting to retrain and re-enter the workforce will likely be out of luck.

"It’s very scary to think that the education might not be the same in coming years," said recent Nursing graduate Lois Bork.

"We really have to advance the mission and have the equipment and the skilled faculty members in order to perform these really outstanding educational facilties and educational opportunities for our students,” added DCCC President Mary Rittling.

The Governor will continue her Education Jobs tour Thursday by leading a business and education round table in Research Triangle Park.