Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement from Rachel Unruh, chief of external affairs at National Skills Coalition and chief strategist for the organization’s Voices for Skills campaign, in response to the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate in Iowa:
Our polling shows that voters want to hear candidates talk about the importance of skills training. They want to hear concrete plans for making our education system more responsive to the demands of a 21st century economy and the aspirations of all students and workers — not just those pursuing four-year degrees. Last night’s debate is the first time that issue was front and center.
Keeping America competitive in a rapidly changing economy requires having more tradespeople like plumbers and electricians. It also requires ensuring that people are trained for jobs in growing industries like medical technology, IT and software, and advanced manufacturing. These jobs are the backbone of America’s economy, and filling them is critical to America’s success in the 21st century.