Rai­mondo of­fers prom­ise of con­tin­ued mea­sur­able change

Pawtucket Times - - OPINION - By GINA RAI­MONDO Gina Rai­mondo is the Gov­er­nor of Rhode Is­land. She lives in Prov­i­dence with her hus­band and two chil­dren.

Four years ago Rhode Is­land had the high­est unem­ploy­ment in the na­tion. To­day, the unem­ploy­ment rate is the low­est it’s been in 20 years and the num­ber of jobs in the state are near an all-time high. Sim­ply put, we’re bring­ing real, mea­sur­able change to Rhode Is­land.

Our peo­ple and our state are bet­ter off be­cause of it.

Elec­tion Day is Novem­ber 6, and Rhode Is­lan­ders have a clear choice to make: Con­tinue the pos­i­tive change we’ve brought to Rhode Is­land or go back­wards.

When I took of­fice, unem­ploy­ment was high and wages were flat. It had been that way for decades. We had to come to­gether and shake up the old way of do­ing things to get peo­ple work­ing again, so we did.

We started in­vest­ing in Rhode Is­lan­ders. From early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion to post-sec­ondary op­por­tu­ni­ties, we are cre­at­ing path­ways to the mid­dle class for ev­ery­one.

A good ed­u­ca­tion is the foun­da­tion for suc­cess so we’ve made record in­vest­ments in K-12 ed­u­ca­tion. Im­me­di­ately af­ter tak­ing of­fice, I ended the freeze on school con­struc­tion and we got to work fix­ing schools. We’ve tripled the num­ber of Pre-K classes across the state and ev­ery child can now at­tend all-day kinder­garten. And with your sup­port in Novem­ber, we’ll guar­an­tee that ev­ery four year old has a seat in a pub­lic Pre-K class.

For four years, we’ve been laser fo­cused on job train­ing. We’ve trained and placed more than 3,000 unemployed or un­der­em­ployed Rhode Is­land work­ers in good-pay­ing jobs since I took of­fice. In a sec­ond term, we’ll dou­ble the num­ber of em­ploy­ers in­volved in our Real Jobs RI train­ing part­ner­ships. Seven out of 10 jobs in Rhode Is­land re­quire a de­gree or cre­den­tial be­yond high school, so last year we made CCRI tu­ition-free for high school grad­u­ates. And ear­lier this year, we an­nounced a com­mit­ment to bring the North­ern Rhode Is­lander Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter to Woonsocket.

In a sec­ond term, I’ll work to ex­pand the RI Prom­ise Schol­ar­ship at CCRI to Rhode Is­lan­ders of all ages, and ex­tend it for high school grad­u­ates to URI and RIC.

Four years ago, our econ­omy was stuck and we had no strat­egy to com­pete with other states.

For too long, we re­lied on Hail Mary passes and spe­cial deals for spe­cial peo­ple. And a lot of Rhode Is­lan­ders got hurt along the way. Right af­ter I took of­fice, we changed that. We cre­ated a new small busi­ness loan pro­gram, which has sup­ported roughly 70 com­pa­nies like Sup­port Vi­sion. We’ve re­cruited or ex­panded over two dozen ma­jor em­ploy­ers to Rhode Is­land and put thou­sands of Rhode Is­lan­ders to work fix­ing our crum­bling roads and bridges. We’ve cre­ated over 15,000 news jobs in less than four years and we led the na­tion last year in wage growth.

My op­po­nents have promised to undo this progress and send Rhode Is­land back­wards. They op­pose the job-cre­at­ing pro­grams we’ve es­tab­lished. Al­lan Fung would get rid of the Rhode Is­land Prom­ise schol­ar­ship al­to­gether. And nei­ther Fung nor Trillo have the courage to stand up for Rhode Is­land which some­times re­quires stand­ing up to Pres­i­dent Trump.

I love Rhode Is­land and I believe in our lit­tle Ocean State. I grew up here, Andy and I chose to raise our chil­dren here, I started a busi­ness here – and I’m proud and hum­bled to be your Gov­er­nor. I’m ask­ing for the chance to keep work­ing for you, so we can keep bring­ing the change Rhode Is­lan­ders need and de­serve.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.