Below is my statement for the the Warren and Barrington papers this week:
Second to public safety, the most important job of state government is to help create the conditions for economic prosperity. If Rhode Island is to thrive, we need to ensure that our citizens have the skills to succeed in the jobs that will grow our economy.
For much of its history, Rhode Island’s economy centered around manufacturing; from textiles to jewelry to boats. For years, a high school diploma would qualify a person for a family-sustaining wage. But times have changed.
According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2018 61% of the jobs in our state will require some form of postsecondary credential.
To get a job in today’s advanced manufacturing, high-tech, medical services, and other fast-growing employment sectors you typically need a postsecondary credential. Workers in manufacturing, for example, are more likely to be working on a computer than a lathe.
Unfortunately, less than 45 percent of Rhode Islanders have training or education beyond high school.
If elected, I will work to make sure our education and workforce systems are working closely with key industry sectors to ensure that our citizens have the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy.