A well-educated workforce is vital to our economic success. And a quality education system is the key to creating a workforce prepared for the 21st century economy.

I will fight for policies that strengthen our education system focused on closing the achievement gap, raising standards and giving our teachers the support they need to help ensure that every child gets the opportunity to reach their full potential.

We must rein in the rising costs of college tuition and increase aid for middle class families to ensure everyone gets a fair chance. The 1st Congressional District is fortunate to be the home of great community and technical colleges and extended campuses of some of our state’s best public universities. When college student loan interest rates doubled, I worked across the aisle to find a bipartisan compromise that rolled back these costly rate hikes.

Working closely with these institutions, we can bolster the workforce that local manufacturing, technology and agricultural employers in the district need. It is essential we focus on increasing opportunities for current and future workers to get the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. This is why I fought for and secured $200 million in job-training funds to help low-income individuals on nutrition assistance get the skills and training they need to become self-sufficient.