"Durham Public Schools has strengthened the talent pipeline by creating the school of Engineering at Southern High School, which celebrated its first graduating class last week," President Obama said during Monday's speech.
Damon Jones-Way is one of the 48 graduates. His mom got him interested in the field of engineering.
"With me being the only male figure in the house, I was able to put everything together for my mom that she wasn't able to put together," Jones-Way said.
Rising Junior Traleeza Taylor is focused on architecture.
"I'm very creative," she said. "I like thinking outside the box."
The program at Southern allows her to do that. Students can construct bridges and make cars. The program is open to any Durham Public high school student. No one has been turned away, but the principal says it's only for students who are willing to work hard and be challenged every day.
"From day one, we preach to the parents and to the students that every child is going to be college ready," Southern High School of Engineering Principal Travis Taylor said.
Jones-Way says he will attend North Carolina A&T University in the fall and major in civil and construction engineering.
For every job opening today there are four applicants, but the same cannot be said when it comes to jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. That's why President Obama says the Southern School Engineering is so important to build a better workforce at home and create jobs at home, jobs that'll be around in the future.