Just this week, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo was praised by the Wall Street Journal in a piece entitled “An Island of Rationality in Blue State New England.” They see her as a Democrat who is bucking the party’s progressive trend and actually getting big things done, including talking honestly about the link between lack of skills and high unemployment.
Ms. Raimondo has funneled the savings into workforce training programs that match community colleges with local employers. Her goal is to equip the long-term unemployed and young people with skills for high-tech manufacturing and service jobs. The skills-jobs mismatch is a major contributor to the state’s 5.6% unemployment rate, though solving this universal problem doesn’t rank high on most Democratic governors’ to-do lists.
Also this week, Raimondo released the following statement on her Facebook page after hundreds of Rhode Islanders rallied at the state house in response to their fears since the election. Included in the statement are what she considers to be the the most important education initiatives of her administration.
Since the election, I’ve spoken with many Rhode Islanders who are concerned about the direction a new administration might take our country. Earlier today, several hundred Rhode Islanders visited the State House to urge me and our state legislators to protect Rhode Islanders “from the aspects of the President-elect’s policy that aim to make us less tolerant, less equal and less safe.”
The result of the election has not and never will alter our principles or erode our values. I promise to work tirelessly with Rhode Islanders of all races, creeds, and political parties to prevent President-elect Trump and his administration from enacting any policy that stokes division and fear and hurts Rhode Island’s working American families.
If the new Administration follows through on their threats to roll back Roe V. Wade, I will fight to protect women’s health and reproductive rights. If they build a wall, I will work with you to stand up for our immigrant neighbors, who came to this nation in search of the same opportunity that brought my family here. If they work to repeal Obamacare, I will fight to ensure that every Rhode Islander is able to maintain access to affordable healthcare. And wherever they promote divisiveness and anger, I will stand strong to protect Rhode Island’s working families.
Every day I’m focused on leveling the playing field and providing economic opportunity for all Rhode Islanders. It’s what motivates me and why I’m working so hard to create family supporting jobs for ALL Rhode Islanders.
It’s why I’m focused on preparing Rhode Islanders for jobs in 21st century advanced manufacturing. In two years, we’ve made record investments in education – expanding access to Pre-K, guaranteeing all day kindergarten for every Rhode Island family and lifting the moratorium on school construction. With support from people across the state, we’ve increased the minimum wage and expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit to put money back in the pockets of working people. In partnership with the Rhode Island General Assembly, we’re investing $4 billion to rebuild Rhode Island’s roads and bridges, putting thousands of Rhode Islanders back to work in the process.
As Governor, and as the mother of two children who believe our best days are still ahead of us, I’m committed to the crucial work that strengthens our economy and provides opportunity for all Rhode Islanders. Together, we will continue to fight for our principles, stand up for Rhode Islanders and move our state forward.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we offer thanks to Governor Raimondo for talking openly and honestly about the urgent need for Rhode Island to do much better by students — the solutions will not look the same for every child but the commitment to all children getting what they need and deserve can never be up for negotiation.