Without a reliable, capable workforce, businesses cannot expand or relocate to NH to provide the new jobs we need to improve economic opportunity in New Hampshire. We need to reform our education product so graduates are ready to enter the workforce the day they receive a high school diploma.
While campaigning, I’ve spoken with dozens of business owners and executives. Three clear messages have emerged, and they are cause for serious concern:
- Too many high school graduates do not have the reading and math skills required to join our workforce.
- Too many high school graduates have no idea about the structure and function of our economic and political systems.
- Too many young people lack a strong work ethic.
These messages point to institutional failures which have major lifetime consequences. Without a ready, capable workforce, employers look elsewhere to grow their businesses. And without the jobs those employers provide, there is little chance that we will revitalize the stagnant economy that is impacting much of our District.
We can develop a workforce ready for prospective employers and entrepreneurs, by:
Adopting “Common Core” standards, rejecting federal control of our education system, and retaining local control of teaching and testing
Requiring (by written exams) a demonstrated working knowledge of our political and economic systems as a condition of high school graduation, including clearly understanding the importance of reliability and productivity to economic success
Teaching fundamentals of entrepreneurship in our middle and high schools to combat the lowest business startup rate in U.S. history
Establishing charter high schools dedicated to entrepreneurship and STEM
Instituting vouchers to allow parents and students choice in education
Opening our classrooms to qualified technicians and entrepreneurs to share their knowledge, skills and life experience in our schools without requiring “certification”
Engaging parents, businessmen, executives, and vocational professionals in developing and updating specific workplace competencies as requirements for high school graduation
Without a capable workforce, businesses cannot function. By incorporating these improvements, taking back control of our education system, and reforming our education product as one part of a business-friendly strategy, we can more easily recruit businesses to come to NH to provide the new and higher-paying jobs we need to grow our economy. As your State Senator, I will fight tirelessly to incorporate these changes to build a better future for our people and our state.