Kaine pushes workforce-training initiative

On Tuesday, Kaine for Virginia released “Investing in our Workers” – a strategic initiative to develop the world’s most talented workforce and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the jobs and industries of a global economy.

Crafted after more than a year of conversations between U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine and educators, business owners, students, and other stakeholders across Virginia, the agenda emphasizes many strategies Kaine employed as governor including investments in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum, career and technical education, and workforce training.

In addition, today Kaine for Virginia launched “Educators for Kaine,” a group of more than 140 education professionals who support Kaine’s bid for the U.S. Senate. This diverse group of educators will be an integral part of the broad coalition that will help elect Kaine in November.

“As governor, Tim Kaine worked with a bipartisan coalition to invest in every aspect of Virginia’s education system and raise educational standards so our kids could receive a world-class education that would prepare them for college or the workforce,” said Jean Bankos, former president of the Virginia Education Association. “By working with parents, teachers, and students, Kaine demonstrated he could get results by bringing all constituencies together to educate a new generation of Virginians who could outpace the competition.”

“Even though Kaine served as governor during the worst recession in 70 years, he worked hard to continue crucial investments in education.  I spoke with countless Virginia families who felt more secure knowing that our governor continued to make education investments a priority because he knew they were critical to the future of our children and our economy,” said former Arlington School Board Member Libby Garvey. “Tim Kaine directed millions in need-based tuition assistance to students to help make college more affordable in a tough economy, and Virginia was Education Week’s state in which a child has the best chance for success during his term.”

“As governor, Tim Kaine consistently demonstrated his belief in the value of career and technical education – during his term he created nine Governor’s Career and Technical Academies in Virginia,” said Jim Batterson, a former teacher, school board chairman and former senior advisor to the Commonwealth for STEM Initiatives. “And throughout his career, he has always strongly supported programs that emphasize a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math curriculum to prepare our students to compete in the global workforce. We need more leaders in Washington who will work to ensure our students are trained with the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century.”

“I support Tim Kaine because he understands that the key to progress is an ongoing commitment to expanding and improving educational opportunities in our Commonwealth,” said Michael Palermo, a high-school teacher in Arlington. “As governor, he promoted policies that narrowed the achievement gap and encouraged more of Virginia’s students to take advanced courses. Educators across the state are standing behind Kaine because of his efforts to make education investments a priority.”

In addition to prioritizing STEM and career and technical education, Kaine also emphasized workforce training. During his term, Kaine opened five comprehensive workforce one stop centers in Charlottesville, Roanoke, Prince William, Danville, and South Boston to serve jobseekers and businesses in the region from one central location.

Over the next four months, “Educators for Kaine” will share with their friends, colleagues, and neighbors, Kaine’s deep commitment to education and his long record of support for education programs, from pre-K to higher education and workforce training.

“I am proud and grateful for the support of so many teachers from across the state who are charged with educating our young people. Over our history, Virginia has shown investments in education pay dividends and are critical to raising our platform for economic growth,” said Kaine. “I am confident that by pursuing educational and workforce development strategies, we can ensure every child has access to a first-rate education and every worker has access to training programs that will prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. I am committed to working with parents, students, educators, and business owners to ensure we tap the best ideas to accomplish this goal.”

The four areas of Kaine’s workforce development plan are:

Ensure Each Child Receives Personalized Instruction: As Senator, Kaine will support individualized learning plans and the resources and tools teachers need to best teach and prepare future generations.

Revitalize Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education: As Senator, Tim Kaine will work with all stakeholders – educators, industry leaders, businesses, and parents – to develop comprehensive reform to STEM education, support efforts to offer STEM classes earlier, and raise existing standards. Kaine will also continue to encourage increased training and support for STEM teachers.

Elevate the Importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE): Tim Kaine supports a Congressional Technical Excellence recognition for high-achieving students and necessary resources to bolster career and technical education through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

Streamline Federal Workforce Development Programs: Tim Kaine supports efforts to make the workforce development system more transparent and simple, to increase its success, as well as to make sure there is clear accountability if goals are not met. In addition, Kaine will look for ways to support public-private partnerships to ensure workers are receiving the training that will prepare them for today’s available positions.

 

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The George Allen for U.S. Senate campaign responded to Tim Kaine’s latest education proposals that provide few new details or concepts for education solutions. When viewed in the context of Tim Kaine’s record of cutting funding for education, it’s easy to see why Tim Kaine will say anything to mask his true record for Virginia.

“Tim Kaine’s latest public relations campaign is little more than an another attempt to rewrite his record of cutting education funding,” said Emily Davis, spokeswoman for George Allen for U.S. Senate.  “Tim Kaine made what he called ‘significant’ cuts to higher education that caused tuition increases of over 30%, making college less affordable for Virginia families and students. He proposed hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts for K-12 education, including a plan that would have blocked $120 Million in new funding for Northern Virginia schools.

 

“While Tim Kaine talks about setting priorities, George Allen actually made education a priority and has the record to prove it. George Allen made college more affordable by capping and freezing Virginia public college tuition and creating the Virginia Prepaid Education Program.  He strengthened K-12 education by raising academic standards, prioritizing new teacher funding for smaller class sizes and advocating for parents to access a $1,000 annual education tax credit.”


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