We need a strong economic investment plan and a robust education system in order to create jobs.

One of my opponents last year said that “workforce development” wasn’t as important as “profit.”

I completely disagree. If we do not educate, create, and retain young workers, our economy will shrivel like a grape in the sun. Along with this will be an increase in all of the social ills and health problems we see throughout Oregon’s rural population.

We need to fund our career technical education programs.

We need to create tax incentives that are contingent on the performance of businesses. Our part of Oregon needs to attract real, productive, living wage jobs.

We need to work with our unions to create and maintain skilled labor along with their rights as workers.

I plan to promote a Rural Oregon Workforce Commission, that would combine the operations of certain parts of the Oregon Department of Education, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, the State Bureau of Labor and Industry, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Oregon Employment Department. This task force, made up of all department and agency leaders, would report to the legislature on an annual basis regarding career pathways in education, public health concerns, employment problems, and enforcement issues regarding workers’ rights.