One of the most important duties of educational institutions is to help close the skills gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.
Scientific, medical, and technological efforts are increasingly important, especially given the complexities of challenges we face at home and abroad. Solutions require filling our education and jobs pipeline with developing STEM professionals fully equipped to tackle major challenges upon completion of their training.
Research and development conducted at U.S. universities provides significant opportunities for STEM training. To stay competitive as a nation, we need to build a scientifically literate citizenry and a bank of highly skilled, STEM-literate employees through continued robust federal support for research combined with science and engineering policies that power economies of local and regional communities across the U.S.
Considering nearly half of all STEM jobs are open to those without a four-year college degree, effective STEM investments must account for the vital role community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeships, and certification programs play in workforce development,
We must work to make education more affordable, and I will seek creative ways to address the growing student loan crisis responsibly.
While it is important to invest in education, I believe federal mandates too often increase the cost of education at the expense of our children and future. Efforts to improve education and grow our workforce should begin at the state and local level where it is most effective, without interference from the federal government.