Tim Kaine discusses talent economy at Bristol event

U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine toured The Williams Company, a third-generation manufacturing and machining facility in Bristol, on Friday.

Kaine discussed his economic vision with employees and outlined his Virginia-based approach to create jobs, level the playing field for small businesses, and strengthen the economy for the long term.

Throughout the event, Kaine highlighted his strategies for supporting small business growth by increasing access to capital, simplifying the tax code, and developing the world’s most talented workforce. During his time as governor, Kaine’s balanced approach to the budget and commitment to the Commonwealth’s workforce helped Virginia earn recognition as Forbes’ “Best State for Business” four years in a row and as the state with the highest percentage of workers in technology jobs. As senator, Kaine will continue to support small businesses by making the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent, which would help businesses like The Williams Company innovate and grow. Founded in 1937, The Williams Company manufactures parts for energy, chemical, defense and coal industries worldwide.

“As a mayor and governor in a tough economy, I learned a lot about the power of small businesses,” said Kaine. “If elected to the Senate, I really want to focus on ways to help level the playing field for small businesses. A lot of small businesses pay a higher percentage in taxes than big businesses, which is why I advocate comprehensive tax reform. On export policies, we need to do more to help small businesses take advantage of markets across the globe. So whether it’s tax policy or exports or access to capital, leveling the playing field for small businesses is an important part of what I’m going to do if I go into the Senate.”

Kaine also discussed his longstanding commitment to expanding career and technical education (CTE) to develop a globally competitive talent economy. As governor, Kaine worked across the aisle to pass the largest higher education bond package in state history and helped develop nine Governor’s Career and Technical Academies. In the Senate, Kaine will work to elevate career and technical education at the federal level by supporting efforts to encourage achievement in CTE with a Congressional Technical Excellence recognition and will push to fully fund the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

“I am passionate about talent issues—education, workforce development, apprenticeship, career and training—all the things that help make our workforce talented,” said Kaine. “Growing up in my dad’s shop and then serving as the principal of a school in Honduras that taught kids carpentry and welding, I’ve seen firsthand the power of career and technical training in giving folks the skills they need to compete for good paying jobs.”

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