In Bristol today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine toured the Clean Energy Research & Development Center and learned how the state-of-the-art facilities could benefit businesses while conserving energy. During the visit, Kaine discussed the importance of research and development in renewable and alternative energy for U.S. troop safety abroad, and its role in preparing Virginia's workforce to succeed in the jobs of the 21st century.
"Meeting with local elected officials and business leaders in Southwest Virginia has revolved around economic development and jobs -- and in that, a lot about the jobs of tomorrow and the workforce of tomorrow," said Kaine. "This is an amazing facility, and I know one of the things they're looking for is getting some of the best possible tenants here, and I hope to be helpful."
Following his visit to the Clean Energy Research & Development Center, Kaine met with students and teachers at Highland View Elementary School, which is home to a Communities in Schools program that helps at-risk students realize their full educational and professional potential. Kaine praised the Communities in Schools program for its success in improving attendance rates and ensuring students receive the help and care they need to come to class every day ready to learn.
"The Communities in Schools program at Highland View shows if you can bring services - like social services and dental work - into schools, it allows students to learn who otherwise would struggle because they weren't getting enough to eat or faced other challenges at home," said Kaine. "This program makes a huge impact on the lives and futures of these children."
Kaine's stop in Bristol wrapped up a two-week tour through Virginia to discuss economic development and workforce training, career and technical education, and other issues impacting businesses and families across the Commonwealth. Kaine's tour included stops in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Newport News, Hampton, Richmond, Martinsville, Roanoke, Bluefield, Wytheville, Marion, Emory and Abingdon.