Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe made his first formal campaign stop in Roanoke today, saying the state needs to put jobs first.
Speaking to a crowd of about 90 at the Wallace Agency on Power Street, McAuliffe said Virginia needs to reform its Standards of Learning and become more systematic about funding the most important transportation projects.
“K-12 Education is the single most important tool we have to build a stronger Virginia, and we need to ensure that we are preparing Virginia’s students for tomorrow’s jobs,” McAuliffe said.
He said he also wanted to increase workforce training and education in the sciences, technology and math.
“We also must attract and retain the best teachers,” McAuliffe said. He said Virginia ranks last out of the 50 states when comparing average teacher pay to the state’s average wage.
McAuliffe said a top priority if elected would be to expand workforce training at community colleges.
To keep Virginia economically competitive, he said the state needs to cut red tape.
He said he would work to diversify the state’s economy, citing clean energy jobs and healthcare as key areas.
“Here’s another critical difference between me and my opponent,” he said. “ccepting federal funds for the expansion of Medicaid will not only ensure that 400.000 more Virginians get life-saving coverage—paid for by bringing Virginians’ federal tax dollars back to Virginia—but it’s projected to create more than 33,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth.”