Washington, D.C. – Today, National Skills Coalition released a new poll that shows voters across the country overwhelmingly support increasing public investment in skills training. The poll, conducted by ALG Research, shows that voters across parties, racial/ethnic groups, and education levels, want to see more investments in skills training – the most popular of the eight economic policy proposals tested, including free tuition for four-year public colleges, Medicare for all, and a middle-class tax cut. By a 50-point margin, voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increasing government funding for skills training.
The results come at an opportune moment for newly elected Governors and members of Congress, as well as political candidates, already staffing up for 2020 races, who are looking to understand voter concerns.
“At a time when our country is deeply divided, this poll proves that investing in skills training isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s an American issue,” said Rachel Unruh, Chief of Staff at National Skills Coalition. “Voters understand that our economic landscape is changing, technology keeps evolving, and the future of work requires that we increase investments in skills training to keep America competitive in the 21st century and provide better-paying jobs for working families.”
(1) 93 percent of voters support increasing investment in skills training – over 30 points more popular than providing free tuition for four-year public colleges (60 percent), and over 20 points more popular than providing Medicare for all Americans (71 percent). Increasing investment in skills training is also more popular than cutting taxes for the middle-class (88 percent) and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour (66 percent).
(2) There is strong, bipartisan support for a range of proposals related to skills training. At least 80 percent of voters support each of the eight skills training proposals tested in the poll.
“Learning is a lifelong journey,” said Unruh. “We saw in 2016 that voters – particularly in the Midwest – felt that learning a trade, or a skill, or working towards anything less than a four-year college degree didn’t seem to be valued by candidates seeking their vote. 2020 presidential candidates in both parties can reset that paradigm by thinking more broadly about how we educate and train workers and communicating that there is dignity in all work.”
(3) By a 50-point margin, voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports “increasing government funding for skills training.” 59 percent of all voters are more likely to get behind a candidate who supports “increasing government funding for skills training in the U.S,” compared to only 9 percent who would be less likely to support.
“Voters fundamentally believe that skills training is good for workers’ pockets and America’s long-term economic competitiveness,” said Brian Stryker, Partner at ALG Research. “They agree America needs more skills training in order to prepare workers not just for traditional skilled trades but also growing industries like medical technology, IT and software, and advanced manufacturing. The more 2020 candidates address skills training, not as a throw away talking point but as a real part of a more broad and inclusive economic agenda for the country, the better off they’ll be electorally.”
The nationwide survey of 1,000 likely 2020 general election voters was conducted by ALG Research from January 22-27, 2019.