Investing in Our Future
Over the last three months, our economy has added more jobs than in any three-month stretch since 1997. It’s encouraging news, but it doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels when it comes to job growth and job creation. I’m determined to keep doing everything I can to foster a nurturing environment for job creation that helps even more Delawareans get back to work. That includes building a world-class workforce by strengthening our support for education initiatives that will prepare Delawareans for careers in the 21st century.
Last week, I had the opportunity to talk about these issues when Gov. Markell, Sen. Coons and I welcomed U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Delaware Tech for a roundtable discussion with employers and students on college affordability and pathways to the job market. These are the kinds of conversations we need to be having as we continue to explore the best ways to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to obtain a quality education that is all the more necessary in a competitive global marketplace.
Secretary Duncan was also there to highlight the president’s plan to improve college access and affordability by encouraging states to offer two years of community college to students for free if they’re performing at a high-level in the classroom and working toward a certificate or degree. We were proud to talk about a program that already exists in Delaware called the Student Excellence Equals Degrees (SEED) Scholarship program that enables certain students to attend Delaware Tech tuition-free. The SEED program is a great example of an initiative that is helping Delaware students, often the first in their families to attend college, transition from high school to college in order to complete associate degrees or earn credits to transfer to another institution, like the University of Delaware. These SEED scholarships make it possible for our young people to reach higher, and they help the First State meet the needs of Delaware employers by creating a direct pathway from classroom to career.
We invest in the future prosperity of our state when we invest in education and I will continue to work with the governor, the congressional delegation and my colleagues in Washington to ensure we’re making the best investment possible in the First State’s future.