U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine hosted a roundtable discussion with local business leaders and elected officials from Covington, Alleghany County and Clifton Forge on Friday at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College to learn more about regional economic development and current challenges facing the community, including the impact of sequestration and other federal budget cuts to the public education system.
“Anything I do well in the Senate is because I started out in local government,” said Kaine. “When we talk about economic development strategies, it shouldn’t be one size fits all, there are unique challenges and opportunities in each region, and it’s helpful to hear about the significant economic development needs Clifton Forge and Covington are facing.”
During the roundtable, Kaine learned about “Alleghany Highlands Vision 2025,” a regional economic plan to address local issues and help spur business growth, before discussing his efforts in the Senate to expand career and technical education (CTE) and equip students throughout the Commonwealth with skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce.
“There was a real lack of focus on career and technical education in the Senate. My dad was an ironworker and I ran a vocational school in Honduras so I decided to make this my specialty,” said Kaine. “Much of what I know about CTE is from working with community colleges. Many students are here not just to get degrees, but to get skills. I’ll work to advance priorities that raise the profile of career and technical education.”
Kaine and Portman were recently joined by Senator Tammy Baldwin to introduce a bipartisan resolutionencouraging educators to promote CTE as an option for students.