By Nikki Patrick
A well-trained workforce is vital to attracting industries to Kansas and creating quality jobs, according to Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland.
He visited Thursday in Pittsburg, meeting with supporters and local news media.
"Companies want to locate in states with a well-trained workforce and outstanding schools," said Holland, state senator from Baldwin City. "So we will bring good paying jobs to Kansas by investing in our classrooms and technical training programs."
He praised the workforce training programs underway in southeast Kansas as a model for the type of investments that should be made across the state.
"The College of Technology at Pittsburg State University offers programs that are second to none in the nation," Holland said.
His opponent, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, stated Tuesday that the Kansas aviation industry is crucial to economic growth in the state.
While Holland did not deny the importance of the aviation industry, he said that the state also needed to expand into new fields and industries.
He assailed Brownback for his support for private school vouchers, and for his stated desire to change the Kansas school finance formula back to the type the state had in the 1980s.
"That would bring significantly higher local property taxes which would be devastating to the taxpayers and businesses in southeast Kansas," Holland said. "We cannot prepare for the future by reliving the mistakes of the past."
His own investment in education would include funds generated through the lottery and he would also work for the repeal of inefficient tax exemptions. He said he will also stand firm in opposing private education vouchers, which draw students and funding away from public schools.
"Sen. Brownback's Road Map for Kansas is more like a road map to ruin, with a hidden agenda of tried and failed policies," Holland said.