My grandfather lost his job on the day my mother was born. For the next two weeks, he went out the door everyday as if he were going to work. He didn't have the heart to tell my grandmother that he no longer had a job when they had a six-year-old boy and a newborn baby girl to take care of.
Too many people are struggling today to find a job or hang onto the one they have. And too often Washington looks out for those at the top, instead of looking out for the middle class.
I want all our children to have a bright future in Connecticut and a job is the most important foundation for a family to have. That's why charting a clear, thoughtful course to long-term job growth and rebuilding a robust middle class is my top priority.
Fighting for the jobs we have
We must start by fighting to keep the jobs we already have. When Pratt and Whitney closed a local plant, laying off 1000 skilled workers, I helped lead the charge to get new job placements or early retirement packages for those workers.
American workers can and do compete with the best in the world -- but in order for the U.S. to get the benefits of a global economic system, we need to make sure that everyone is on a level playing field.
Stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas. We must close corporate tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas and instead reward companies who invest in America.
Enforce trade laws. We cannot and should not allow any country to violate trade laws, whether that is violations of child labor, health and safety regulations, unfair subsidies, or illegal dumping of products.
Creating new jobs and promoting innovation
Connecticut has a history as a leader in innovation. We must ensure that our tax laws and regulations reward innovation and promote job creation -- so that our children don't have to leave the state to get good jobs.
Promote clean energy industry. For the past several years, I have promoted the development of green energy industries in Connecticut. By investing in R&D in the clean energy sector we can create good jobs here, in everything from technology to manufacturing to construction, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The payoff is greater security for our country, as well as the economic benefit of developing processes and products that we can license and sell to the world.
Restore our manufacturing tradition. In addition to clean energy and bio-tech jobs, we must focus on re-invigorating our manufacturing sector. For too long our country has been falling behind when it comes to competing in the global economic manufacturing marketplace. Germany has been successful by focusing on vocational training in high school, coupled with apprenticeships and 1 or 2 years of post high school education. We must redouble our efforts to create a talent pool of highly skilled workers in America who can compete -- and win -- in high-end manufacturing around the world. We need to be a nation that makes things or we will lose our economically vital middle class.
Help small business grow. Small businesses are the engine of job creation and we need to give them the tools and predictability that enable them to create new jobs. That means providing access to capital, reducing unnecessary red tape, and making sure small business taxes are fair and encourage growth. I am proud of my record of working with local businesses and Chambers of Commerce to grow jobs, and I will take that same commitment to Washington.
Invest in growth. We must grow jobs and make strategic investments in areas that are critical for long-term growth and prosperity, like infrastructure, energy, and education. We need only look to our own past -- as well as to the present day investments being made by China -- to be reminded of how future private sector job and economic growth is tied to long term commitments in these bedrock areas.