In addition to repealing and replacing our current leadership in Raleigh, Jen has a vision for our community and the state of North Carolina. When Jen works with students, she always looks for their strengths so that she can build on those and develop a stronger student. The same goes for North Carolina.
North Carolina’s most valuable asset, our people. Whether it’s the farmer in the Northwest or the teacher near the coast, North Carolinians are proud of their natural resources, human capital and perseverance to get things done. How do we use our strengths to be better and represent our citizens?
Jen believes that in order to improve our quality of life, we need economic development that emerges from our strengths and uses our creativity and resources. Unfortunately, under current leadership breweries, manufacturing, textiles, even the film industry have exited our communities for nearby states.
Jen’s vision includes a stellar education system from Pre-K through the University that equips people to work in high paying jobs. For example, providing more people with access to our community colleges, citizens can earn Associate Degrees, prepare for 4-year degrees or get equipped for 21st Century jobs that require a skilled work force and in return offer high paying jobs. According to Higher Education Works (July 20, 2017) states such as Tennessee provide all citizens with free tuition to community colleges. With free access to new knowledge and skills, we ramp up our skilled workforce and attract new industry to our area. The first question new industry asks is “What are schools like?”
Jen’s 30 years in public education and research have prepared her to lead the way to an education system that meets the needs of all people and therefore leads to a more prosperous community and state. We also know that providing Pre-K services throughout our community and state impacts the education of children for a lifetime. Currently, more than 33,000 4-year olds in North Carolina do not have access to Pre-K. (Greensboro, News and Record, July 23, 2017) Children that attend Pre-K have more opportunities as adults. (Center for Public Education.org) A more educated population means higher wages and productive lives for the community.
While our current leadership takes money away from schools and gives it to private for profit companies, Jen wants to invest in our public education system and make it accessible to everyone. Her vision includes access and equity of educational opportunities that lead to a stronger, more skilled workforce, which in turn provides economic development to the area. Increasing our economic development means more opportunity for small business and creative entrepreneurship. This is Jen’s vision. Let’s build on our strengths in both natural and human resources! Let’s forge a new path for our communities and state.