Harnesses the Power of Education to Build New Hampshire’s Economy, Attract Jobs
MANCHESTER – Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan today unveiled the first part of her “Innovate NH” jobs plan, which is aimed at harnessing the power of the New Hampshire education community to build New Hampshire’s economy and attract jobs.
“Our public schools are and should be drivers of economic growth for our state,” Hassan said. “Our colleges and universities are inventing new ideas and new technologies that could launch new companies and new jobs. They offer the expertise that can help our existing companies innovate and thrive. And our public schools are essential to ensuring New Hampshire has the best-trained workforce in the nation.”
New Hampshire’s public schools have been drastically dismantled by the current leadership of the legislature, which cut state support for higher education in half and passed a law diverting millions of dollars of taxpayer money from public schools to private schools. At the same time, the legislature sacrificed millions in revenues when it cut the tobacco tax.
“This legislature told our young people: ‘smoke more, study less.’ As Governor, I will tell our students that if they study and work hard, they can afford to go to college,” Hassan said. “I will end the drastic dismantling of our public schools and make them a centerpiece our efforts to build a 21st century workforce and to support the efforts of our businesses to grow, innovate and create new jobs.”
As Governor, Hassan will re-invest in New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities. In return, she will ask them to use the additional resources to freeze tuition and to increase the number of slots available for New Hampshire students.
Hassan will bring business leaders and educators to the table to revise and strengthen New Hampshire’s science and math standards for elementary and high school students, and to devise a curriculum that encourages more young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In conjunction with that effort, she will support the efforts of New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities to double the number of STEM students they graduate by 2025.
“We need to increase the science, technology, engineering and math expertise in our workforce. That starts with making sure we have a rigorous – and engaging – STEM curriculum starting in elementary school, and with ensuring we have enough slots available for those students when they are ready for college,” Hassan said.
Hassan’s plan also focuses on making sure that the resources and innovative ideas of the higher education’s faculty and students are put to use helping the economy grow.
She supports doubling the research-and-development tax credit to help support businesses who invest in creating new technologies in New Hampshire, and will work with business leaders and higher education officials to encourage new strategic research partnerships. In addition, Hassan supports efforts to increase the commercialization of the ideas and inventions flowing from New Hampshire’s colleges and universities, and to ensure the technical expertise of New Hampshire’s public higher education community is available to help companies grow and expand.
“In addition to building a strong workforce, our public colleges and universities have the expertise to help launch new companies and to help our existing companies grow,” Hassan said. “As Governor, I want to make sure the immense research power of our public colleges is available to help our companies grow and innovate.”
Hassan said that the community college system must continue to hold a central role in supporting local businesses; in educating students and in keeping New Hampshire’s workforce strong and current. She supports continued efforts to ensure the community college system can quickly respond to the changing needs of the business community and maintaining investments in job training so that workers can stay current.
“Our community colleges are essential to building a 21st century workforce. Their flexibility, their closeness to their communities and their affordability are key to our state’s economic success,” Hassan said. “As Governor, I will continue to support our community colleges and their efforts to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of businesses and workers.”
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The full plan follows.
• Re-invest in Higher Education, Freeze Tuition for New Hampshire families: The legislature cut funding for higher education in New Hampshire nearly in half, making it even harder for middle-class families struggling to keep the dream of a college education alive. As Governor, Maggie will re-invest in New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities, and ask them to use the additional state funds to freeze tuition for New Hampshire students for two years.
• Keep New Hampshire’s Future Workforce in New Hampshire: As state support for higher education has slipped, New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities have had to rely more heavily on out-of-state students. A recent report by the New Hampshire Department of Education found that 5 percent fewer of our students are staying in New Hampshire for college than a decade ago. Only 55 percent of University of New Hampshire-Durham students are from New Hampshire, 45 percent of Keene State students, and 50 percent of Plymouth State University Students. As Governor, Maggie will work with the University System to increase the number of slots for New Hampshire students by at least 10 percent over the next five years. Building and retaining our home-grown workforce will help New Hampshire keep and attract new companies.
• Putting the Power of the University System to Work Helping Businesses Innovate and Grow: As Governor, Maggie Hassan will help put the power and expertise of the University System to work helping businesses innovate and grow. Building and expanding on programs such as the existing Green Launching Pad, The Innovation Launching Pad will let the University System provide research-and-develoment, marketing and its business expertise to a broad range of start-up New Hampshire businesses.
• Supporting Efforts to Commercialize Inventions: As Governor, Maggie Hassan will support ongoing efforts by the University System to commercialize the discoveries being made on their own campuses, including supporting UNH’s business incubator at Pease.
• Set Rigorous – Engaging -- Science Standards for Elementary and High School Students: Building the workforce New Hampshire needs to compete, must start with ensuring elementary and high school students have a sound grounding in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In January, the Thomas Fordham Institute gave New Hampshire’s science standards a D. As Governor, Maggie Hassan will work with teachers, local schools, higher education and the business community to ensure New Hampshire has the rigorous STEM education system it needs to prepare students to compete in the future. As Governor, Maggie will also work to make sure we include hands on-learning, through programs such as FIRST Robotics, in the curriculum to engage and interest students in pursuing STEM careers.
• Increase Number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math graduates: As Governor, Maggie Hassan will work closely with the University and Community College systems of New Hampshire to implement their joint plan to increase the number of STEM graduates by 50 percent by 2020 and double the number by 2025.
• Keep the Community College System Strong and Flexible: Maggie Hassan believe the community college system must remain a critical gateway to college for many of our students and a training ground for future and current workers. She will support efforts to keep the community system strong and flexible to the ever-changing demands of business and technology.
• Ensure Access to Job Training for Workers and Businesses: As a State Senator, Maggie Hassan helped create the Job Training Fund that has helped more than 12,000 New Hampshire workers improve their skills. As Governor, Maggie will work to make sure businesses and workers have access to the job training they need to compete in a rapidly changing economy.
• Double the Research-and-Development Tax Credit: As Governor, Maggie Hassan will support doubling the research-and-development tax credit to encourage businesses to develop the new products and technologies of the future here in New Hampshire. She will also work with New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities and businesses to encourage them to develop new strategic research partnerships.