My grandfather lost his job on the day my mother was born. For the next two weeks, he went out the door everyday as if he were still going to work. He didn’t have the heart to tell my grandmother that he no longer had a job when they had a six-year-old boy and a newborn baby girl to raise.
Our state has a lot to offer: world-class education programs, long-term infrastructure planning, an exceptional quality of life, and a commitment to a healthy environment. However, too many people are still struggling to find a job in Connecticut or are earn enough to raise and support their family. To build the economy we all want, we need to focus on the Connecticut’s strengths so that we can continue to attract entrepreneurs, businesses, and families.
I want all of our children to have a bright future in Connecticut. That’s why I’ve made it a priority in Congress to rebuild Connecticut’s middle class and support policies that encourage long-term job growth.
Manufacturing is the bedrock of Connecticut’s economy. That is why I am working with my colleagues in Congress on the “Make it in America” plan, which is a set of proposals focused on strengthening our nation’s manufacturing sector, closing the skills gap, investing in our infrastructure, and helping innovators and entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses.
In Washington, I have coauthored the TECH Careers Act, which promotes job-training programs at technical and community colleges that provide wrap-around services and apprenticeship programs, and the Manufacturing Universities Act, which expands federal support for universities like UConn with engineering programs that place an emphasis on manufacturing, increase the number of joint projects with manufacturing firms, and support students who participate in cooperative education and apprenticeships with manufacturers. Together, these efforts will prepare and match our workforce with high paying jobs in 21st century manufacturing.
Supporting Fairness for Workers
American workers can and do compete with the best in the world. I’ve cosponsored bills that support companies in bringing jobs back to America and that end unfair tax loopholes for companies shipping jobs overseas.
No one working full time should have to raise their family in poverty. That’s why I support raising the minimum wage and paid family leave. Hard-working families deserve a fair wage and decent benefits that reflect the value of their work.
As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I coauthored the bipartisan, six-year transportation bill that President Obama signed into law last December. I also secured the inclusion of multiple amendments and victories for Connecticut, which will receive over $3.5 billion – an increase of over $310 million from previous funding levels – to fix crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems. Among other needed repairs, this funding allowed the Waterbury I-84 corridor project to finally get off the ground.