Beshear Understands Quality Public Ed Creates Jobs, Bevin doesn’t get it

Jason Starr Nelson

Okay. I did a lot of research. I found a lot of statistics and read many anecdotes from business executives stating why they located their offices or facilities where they did, but, unlike our governor, I am not going to insult your intelligence. It’s common sense that quality public education attracts employers and creates jobs. Matt Bevin doesn’t get it.

Matt Bevin touts “right to work” as a job creator. Prior to “right to work” passing, Kentucky’s net job growth was about 2,100 jobs per month, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. The 21 months after “right to work”, the net growth has slowed to 700 jobs per month, despite grandiose announcements of billions of dollars in investments from the Bevin administration. Yet, according to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, 34 percent of these investments produce no new jobs, and if Braidy Industries doesn’t doesn’t pan out, another 48 percent will include no new jobs. Majority of the jobs that have been created have been created by businesses already located in Kentucky. 

Bottom line. Business executives will tell you, they need locations with a highly-skilled and educated workforce. They need modern infrastructure and a high-quality of life for those relocating to a region. 

Amongst our region, Kentucky’s job growth rate recently is only 0.8 percent, compared to 2.8 percent in the rest of the South. An economic report from the University of Kentucky painted a bleak picture of Kentucky – low education attainment, low median-income, and an overall lack of skilled labor. Instead of investing in education, infrastructure, and other factors that will attract quality jobs, Bevin has decided to give the top earners a tax break and weaken our public education by attacking our teachers, under-funding our schools, cutting spending on higher education, and promoting further tax breaks for those who can afford private-school tuition. 

Andy Beshear understands to attract quality jobs to Kentucky, we must invest in our public schools and we need to brightest and most qualified teaching our children. In contrast, Bevin is lowering the bar to teach in Kentucky and underfunding our schools.

Beshear wants to bring agritech and advanced manufacturing jobs to Kentucky. These jobs require an educated workforce and local districts to create programs in agritech and advanced manufacturing, which exist in parts of the state, such as Jefferson County.

Instead of cutting funding to Universities, Beshear will partner with Universities and agricultural leaders to develop “agritech accelerators” that encourage startups and new small businesses. He also wants to reserve incentives for those companies that create jobs that support families, such as advanced manufacturing. He has plans to expand micro-loan programs to help small businesses, provide grants for lower-income adults, invest in community and technical colleges to provide skills that align with local employers.

What is Bevin doing? Well, Braidy Industries is still searching for $500 million in investments, because even those Russian oligarchs can’t seem to provide enough money for it to open and create the 550 new jobs that were promised, and he has announced plans to create 55,000 new jobs. How? No one seems to know. 
While Bevin walks around in a funny coat with no sense of direction, Beshear is laying the groundwork for a better Kentucky. His plan on jobs can be viewed here: https://andybeshear.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Agritech-Manufacturing-Plan-.pdf

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