21st Century Jobs, Education, Global Competitiveness, Space & NASA
“If low cost labor was the main criteria, all manufacturing plants would be in Haiti” – unknown
“ The World is Flat” – Thomas Friedman
I’m a degreed mechanical engineer and have made my living working at or with manufacturing companies. Manufacturing, especially here in the Upstate of South Carolina, is the main keystone of our economy. BMW, GE Power and Water, Lockheed-Martin, Michelin, their suppliers and other key manufacturers, are the backbone of our local economy.
- Education: Public Schools K-12, Greenville Tech, Community Colleges, USC Upstate and others are essential to the Upstate keeping competitive and winning in the competition inherent in a global Economy. Federal programs that support education, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) – as well as health -- deserve nurturing by all levels of government. Clemson-ICAR is one local example of preparing to win the future. Elimination of the Department of Education, however, is not a path to global competitive education. Government needs to encourage and facilitate education, not discourage it by making it too hard for too many.
- College Debt: Fast rising College costs and College Debt burdens on many are two issues holding our nation back. I earned an MBA while holding a full time job as a part time student. I do have an appreciation of the challenges of time and budget that working on a degree can bring. I don’t have a simple answer however to college cost and debt, but I will have a commitment to seeking innovative solutions and programs that can make it possible to advance forward in education with costs that do not outweigh the benefits.
- 21st Century Jobs – Greenville-Spartanburg was once the textile capital of the world. The textile world changed and the Upstate economy has suffered a period of adjustment. Another global wave change is underway in energy production, electric and autonomous vehicles, and healthcare. These are all areas where the Upstate and the United States need to prepare to be leading the world not lagging behind it. From my engineering background I’ve worked in and with manufacturing companies in my career. I’ve been involved directly with programs such as apprenticeships and cooperative education that deliver a triple win for the employee, the company, and our economy. I’ve also seen such programs in place in Germany that are far more advanced and effective than what’s is common in the USA. I will with vigor keep a focus at the federal government to assure as a nation we are prepared to win the 21st Century jobs future with effective programs in job skills development.
- Space Exploration, Mars, and NASA – I will strongly support continued investment in space exploration for three reasons: (1) It grows the economy in the long run, GPS technology being one example; (2) If we don’t own the “high ground” – China and Russia will; and (3) “To go where no man has gone before” was rooted in our DNA by the creator for a reason.