As Lieutenant Governor, I’ve talked with hundreds of Vermonters across the state directly impacted by our workforce crisis. From emergency rooms to checkout counters to child care centers, workforce shortages are holding back our local economy. Our workforce is shrinking, and across our state we have reached a crisis point in nearly every sector, particularly human services; our state’s supply of primary care providers, nurses, child care providers, and social workers is critically low. This worker shortage, in turn, places a burden on parents, aging Vermonters, and those with disabilities, who are unable to access the resources they need. That’s why I advocated for urgent investment of federal pandemic relief dollars to stabilize this sector this year.
Vermont has set some big goals – we must upgrade infrastructure, meet our climate targets, build homes, and deploy broadband, and we must provide abundant child care and quality healthcare. To do these things, we need workers who are up to the task.
In Congress, I’ll champion federal investment in a 21st-Century workforce, including:
- Free tuition and loan forgiveness for advanced training in human services, healthcare, renewable energy and other high demand sectors.
- Access to career and technical centers and state colleges, including tuition free community college.
- Incentives for local businesses who create on-the-job training opportunities and provide student loan repayment for employees in these good-paying, high-demand fields.
- The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act – a bill to help workers improve their skills and transition into new jobs in high-demand industries.
Across America, we need to build a new and better labor movement that makes it easier for workers to organize free of intimidation. As Vermont’s Congresswoman, I will stand with our Unions to:
- Pass the PRO Act next session to protect workers’ right to collectively bargain and strike, and eliminate the loopholes in the NLRA that undermine organizing.
- Oppose all right-to-work laws which are dangerous, confusing, and undermine our unions.
- Oppose unfair trade agreements that export decent jobs and damage our local economy.
- Fund sensible programs that create good-paying union jobs and service our communities – like infrastructure, school construction, renewable energy, and more.