By Justin Mclelland
Republican Senate candidate and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel visited the Warren County Career Center Wednesday as part of his plan to promote training and blue-collar job growth.
"I think the skills and vocational training taking place here in Warren County can help lead the economic recovery for the state of Ohio," said Mandel, noting his grandparents were blue-collar workers. "I think if young people in America want to go to college, they should be afforded that opportunity, but at the same time, (for) young folks and adults who would rather operate machines, get their hands dirty and be part of the manufacturing tradition we have throughout southwest Ohio, we should encourage that as well."
Mandel was given a tour of some of WCCC's most successful programs including the cosmetology school, electric lineman program and heavy machinery programs. Mandel test drove a bulldozer with a little assistance from instructors.
"If you look at the job placement percentages and superior skills training at centers like this, you see a perfect illustration of how the American manufacturing base can be restored and grown long term," Mandel said.
"If we're going to be strong as a country, economically and militarily, we need to make things in this country."
Mandel is running on a platform of creating more American jobs through simplifying the tax code, reforming federal business regulations and achieving American energy independence.
He said Ohio's economic comeback depends on strengthening small businesses and manufacturing companies to compete against other states and countries.
Mandel was invited to tour the facility by Superintendent Maggie Hess and Public Information Officer Peg Allen, who wrote him a letter touting their school. The letter was a response to Mandel's statement about the necessity of shop classes in high school.
"I told him we have facilities like that and so much more," Allen said.
"We do those things, but at a higher level."
Mandel said the school set itself apart as one of the strongest educational centers of its type in Ohio.
Mandel said his opponent in November's election, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is a career politician who became "one of the most partisan and divisive characters in Washington." However, Mandel said he was a fresh face to national politics who would combat insiders and lobbyists that he thinks have hurt jobs and families in Ohio.