INDIANAPOLIS, IN— Vice President Mike Pence made a pit-stop in Indianapolis Wednesday to address the country-wide shortage of skilled laborers.
The Vice President spoke to a crowd at the Strada Education Network’s national symposium addressing what he identified as a “problem” in an otherwise “booming” economy.
“We haven’t made it possible for young Americans entering the workforce to get the skills and the training a background that they need to take those good-paying jobs, or we haven’t provided the opportunities,” Pence said.
To help fill those jobs, Pence says the country needs to place more emphasis on career technical training.
“All honest work is honorable, and we need to have an education system in America that honors every career for every American,” he said.
According to the Department of Labor, the U.S. has 7.6 million open jobs, but only 6.5 million people looking to fill them.
But as the Vice President pushes the importance of more student pathways, in the Hoosier state, teachers say that can’t happen unless they’re taken care of first.
On Tuesday, more than 15,000 teachers rallied at the statehouse to push lawmakers to make changes to education, including teacher compensation, resolving issues with ILEARN and how it impacts teacher evaluations and repealing externship requirements for teachers renewing their license.
“Indiana says they’re a state that works, but if we don’t invest in our education now, we’re not going to be state that works in the near future,” one parent said.
Meanwhile, the Vice President is facing pressures of his own. During Wednesday's impeachment hearings in the nation’s capitol, the U.S. Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland told members of the intelligence committee he had direct conversations with the vice president where he voiced concern that the delay in military aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations President Trump was pushing for.
Prior to his speech in Indianapolis, the Vice President’s office denied those claims.
While Pence’s speech revolved around education, analysts say the VP’s trip, as well as his visit to a Wisconsin shipbuilding firm, likely served dual purposes as the Trump administration looks to lock down key states for 2020