2016 Presidential Candidates: Workforce

Having the right skill set is necessary for finding and holding the right job. Strong schools, workforce training programs, and balanced labor policies encourage lifelong learning and help employees become productive participants in the workplace and in the growth of business.




Hillary Clinton (D)

MINIMUM WAGE/ BENEFITS:  "We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women's work. I also want to see more companies to profit sharing. If you help create the profits you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top. And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work. I've heard from so many of you about the difficult choices you face and the stresses that you're under. So let's have paid family leave, earned sick days let's be sure we have affordable childcare and debt-free college." (Clinton; September 26, 2016)

MINIMUM WAGE/ BENEFITS: "I think instead we should expand the Child Tax Credit to provide real relief to tens of millions of working families struggling with the costs of raising children – the same families that his plan ignores. And that’s just the start. Because the more we do to help working families, the more our entire economy will benefit. For example, guaranteeing equal pay won’t just increase paychecks for women – it will boost family budgets and get incomes rising across the board.  And I don’t understand why Trump’s against that. Paid family leave won’t only make life easier for Moms and Dads – it will also keep skilled, talented Americans in the workforce and grow our economy. That’s why every other advanced country already has it. Again, he’s against it. Raising the federal minimum wage won’t just put more money in the pockets of low-income families – it also means they will spend more at the businesses in their neighborhoods. Trump’s against that as well." (Clinton; August 11, 2016

STUDENT DEBT: "So we will fight to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for everyone. We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt by making it easier to refinance and repay what you owe as a portion of your income so you don’t have to pay more than you can afford." (Clinton; August 11, 2016

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: "And here’s something else I really want to emphasize, because I don’t think anyone in America is talking about this enough and that is: a four year degree should not be the only path to a good job in America. You should be able to learn a skill, practice a trade, and make a good living doing it.  So many Americans have the talent and the will to succeed –– whether they’re kids right out of high school or older people displaced by automation and outsourcing. For too long, big promises about the power of training and retraining haven’t delivered like they should. It doesn’t help anyone to be trained for a job that doesn’t exist. So here’s what we’re going to do. We will support high-quality union training programs. We will propose new tax credits to encourage more companies to offer paid apprenticeships that let you earn while you learn. We will do more, including a national campaign, to dignify skills training across the board. I think we’ve got to reverse what has become a kind of commonplace view, which is everybody needs to go to college. Well in fact, more than half of the jobs that are going to be available in 2020 do not require a college, four-year degree. So, for welders and machinists and tool and die makers and health technicians and coders and so many others, let’s get the word out. There are really good jobs for people right now, and there will be more in the future if you get the skills in high school, at community college, in an apprenticeship or other training programs. And I want to acknowledge the great role that the community college here in" (Clinton; August 11, 2016)

IMMIGRATION: "I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together - and it's the right thing to do." (Clinton, 2016)
EDUCATION: "So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities. It's a big idea, isn't it? Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school. But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year… sometimes even door-by-door. And my heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza on this stage, representing millions of young people who – because of those changes to our laws – are able to get an education." (Clinton, 2016)
EDUCATION: "Hillary Clinton believes that every child, no matter his or her background, should be guaranteed a high-quality education. That’s why she has been working to improve and support our public schools for decades, but our work isn’t done. Hillary will ensure that every child can fulfill his or her God-given potential. As president, Hillary will: Launch a national campaign to modernize and elevate the profession of teaching.America is asking more of our educators than ever before. They are preparing our kids for a competitive economy, staying on top of new pedagogies, and filling gaps that we as a country have neglected—like giving low-income kids, English-language learners, and kids with disabilities the support they need to thrive. We ask so much of our educators, but we aren’t setting them up for success. That’s why Hillary will launch a national campaign to elevate and modernize the teaching profession, by preparing, supporting, and paying every child’s teacher as if the future of our country is in their hands—because it is. Provide every student in America an opportunity to learn computer science. There are more than half a million open jobs that require computing skills—across the country and in every major industry. But the majority of schools in the United States don’t offer computer science. Hillary will provide states and school districts funding to help scale computer science instruction and lesson programs that improve student achievement or increase college enrollment and completion in CS Ed fields. Rebuild America’s schools. In cities and rural communities across America, there are public schools that are falling apart—schools where students are learning in classrooms with rodents and mold. That’s unacceptable, and it has to change. That’s why Hillary will build on the highly successful Build America Bonds program to provide cities and towns the capital they need to rebuild their schools. These “Modernize Every School Bonds” will double the Build America Bonds subsidy for efforts to fix and modernize America’s classrooms—from increasing energy efficiency and tackling asbestos to upgrading science labs and high-speed broadband. Dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. Schools should be safe places for students to learn and grow. But in too many communities, student discipline is overly harsh—and these harsh measures disproportionately affect African American students and those with the greatest economic, social, and academic needs. Hillary will work to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by providing $2 billion in support to schools to reform overly punitive disciplinary policies, calling on states to reform school disturbance laws, and encouraging states to use federal education funding to implement social and emotional support interventions." (Clinton, 2016)
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: "Americans need to be able to get ahead and stay ahead—that means putting the next generation of well-paying jobs within reach for everyone who is willing to work hard. Hillary Clinton believes that every American—especially young people—should be able to learn the skills they need to get hired, seize new opportunities at work, get promoted, and contribute in a 21st-century workforce. Hillary’s workforce and skills agenda will help people get good jobs with good wages throughout their careers: For workers and job-seekers, this means providing more robust, coherent, and accessible training programs and resources that are up to date for 21st-century technology and that lead to good jobs and lifelong skills and credentials. For training providers, Hillary will ensure that good programs that provide high-quality training, including at community colleges, are given the support they need to scale up and respond to the needs of the local workforce and employers—while insisting on accountability, transparency, and results. For government, Hillary will make sure federal, state, and local workforce development resources are used to bring together workers, unions, employers, and training providers at every level, in order to prepare workers for good jobs. For employers, this plan encourages businesses to invest in their workers for the long term through training, apprenticeships, and creating good jobs. As part of this agenda, Hillary is calling for a tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices, providing much needed on-the-job training—especially for young Americans. Her plan would put forward a tax credit for businesses of $1,500 per apprentice and would insist on accountability for employment and earnings outcomes for programs receiving the credit. Hillary’s plan will also grant a bonus on that tax credit to businesses for providing opportunities specifically for young people." (Clinton, 2016)

IMMIGRATION: "Hillary is advocating for: A fair and just immigration system. Every family should feel like they belong in this country. Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America for years, Hillary will offer them a path to citizenship. Comprehensive immigration reform. The American people support comprehensive immigration reform—not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it strengthens families, our economy, and our country. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy. Defending executive actions. Hillary will defend President Obama’s executive actions on immigration from partisan attacks that would put DREAMers at risk of deportation. And if Congress continues to refuse to act, she will do everything possible under the law to go further. She will put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children. Conducting humane, common sense enforcement. Immigration enforcement must be more humane, more targeted, and more effective. We will focus our limited resources on those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety." (hilaryclinton.com, 2015)

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: "Raising the minimum wage and strengthening overtime rules. Hillary believes we are long overdue in raising the minimum wage. She has supported raising the federal minimum wage to $12, and believes that we should go further than the federal minimum through state and local efforts, and workers organizing and bargaining for higher wages, such as the Fight for 15 and recent efforts in Los Angeles and New York to raise their minimum wage to $15. She also supports the Obama Administration’s expansion of overtime rules to millions more workers." (hilaryclinton.com, 2015)

EDUCATION: Hillary believes that every child, no matter his or her race, income, or ZIP code, should be guaranteed a high-quality education. That's why she has been working to improve and support our public schools for decades. As first lady of Arkansas, she chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Commission, fighting to raise academic standards, increase teacher salaries and lower class sizes. As first lady of the United States, she chaired the first-ever convening on Hispanic Children and Youth, which focused on improving access to educational opportunities. And, as a United States Senator, she served on the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee as a key member shaping the No Child Left Behind Act, with the hopes that it would bring needed resources and real accountability to improve educational opportunities for our most disadvantaged students. But the promise of No Child Left Behind was not fulfilled. Hillary knows that we have real work to do to fulfill the promise that every child in America should receive a high-quality education. (Clinton, 2015)

COMMON CORE:  “When I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful, because the Common Core started off as a bi-partisan effort — it was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized, it was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, that there wouldn’t be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that. Now I think part of the reason why Iowa may be more understanding of this is you’ve had the Iowa Core for years, you’ve had a system, plus the Iowa Assessment tests. I think I’m right in saying I took those when I was in elementary school, right — the Iowa tests. So Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time, and you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. And a lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that, and so don’t understand the value of a core in this sense  a common core that then — yes of course you can, y’know, figure out the best way, in your community to try to reach.”  (Clinton, 2015)



Donald Trump (R)

IMMIGRATION: "When I am President, we are getting them out of our country, and we're getting them out quickly, fast." (Trump; October 5, 2016)

EDUCATION: "Likewise, our education reforms will help parents send their kids to a school of their choice." (Trump, 2016)

EDUCATION:"This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime. It’s failed them at every level." (Trump, 2016)

EDUCATION: "We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice. My opponent would rather protect education bureaucrats than serve American children." (Trump, 2016)

COMMON CORE: "I am totally against Common Core." (Trump, 2015)

EDUCATION: "Education has to be local." (Trump, 2015)

IMMIGRATION: “When politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.  Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.

3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans."  (Trump, 2015)



Gary Johnson (L)

“Governor Gary Johnson was one of the first governors in the nation to propose and advocate a universally available program of school choice. He did so while governing with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature and while facing a powerful teachers’ union. He was well aware that his proposal would not be enacted and would generate fierce opposition. However, he believed it was important to raise the issue and force the teachers’ unions to defend a clearly failing status quo. More broadly, Gov. Johnson believes there is no role for the Federal Government in education. He would eliminate the federal Department of Education, and return control to the state and local levels. He opposes Common Core and any other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools, believing the key to restoring education excellence in the U.S. lies in the innovation, freedom and flexibility that federal interference inherently discourages. As Governor, he saw first-hand that the costs of federal education programs and mandates far outweigh any benefits, both educationally and financially" (Johnson, 2016)
COMMON CORE: Opposes (see above)
Immigration – Amnesty: “Having served as Governor of a border state, Gary Johnson understands immigration. He understands that a robust flow of labor, regulated not by politics, but by the marketplace, is essential. He understands that a bigger fence will only produce taller ladders and deeper tunnels, and that the flow of illegal immigrants across the border is not a consequence of too little security, but rather a legal immigration system that simply doesn’t work. Militarizing the border, bigger fences, and other punitive measures espoused by too many politicians are all simplistic “solutions” to a problem caused by artificial quotas, bureaucratic incompetence and the shameful failure of Congress to actually put in place an immigration system that matches reality. Governor Johnson has long advocated a simplified and secure system of work visas by which willing workers and willing employers can meet in a robust labor marketplace efficiently and economically. Aspiring immigrants would undergo a background check, pay taxes and provide proof of employment. Making it simpler and efficient to enter the U.S. legally will provide the greatest security possible, allowing law enforcement to focus its time and resources on the criminals and bad actors who are, in reality, a relatively small portion of those who are today entering the country illegally”(Johnson, 2016)
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: Sees minimum wage as “a non-issue” (Johnson, 2016)
PUBLIC AID PROGRAMS: “Johnson would block grant Medicare and Medicaid funds to states, and identify cost savings in Medicare. He would index growth in Social Security benefits to wage growth (rather than inflation)” (NBC News, 2012)
UNEMPLOYMENT: “During the 2012 campaign, Gary Johnson was lauded for having the best “job creation” record of all the former governors running for President. His response: “As Governor, I didn’t create a single job.” His point, of course, being that government doesn’t create jobs — except for itself. Entrepreneurs, growing companies and a robust economy create jobs. Government’s role is to create and maintain a regulatory and tax environment in which private job-creators can prosper. Gary Johnson did that as Governor, and would do so as President. Government regulation should only exist to protect citizens from bad actors and the harm they might do to health, safety and property. Regulation should not be used to manipulate behavior, manage private lives and businesses, and to place unnecessary burdens on those who make our economy work. Eliminating unnecessary regulations and applying common sense to those rules that are necessary will free up capital and allow those who want and need to create jobs to do so. Likewise, adopting the tax reforms Governor Johnson advocates will literally create millions of jobs. While most politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, suggest that modest reductions in business taxes might create jobs, Gary Johnson believes eliminating income taxes on businesses will transform the U.S. into the “job magnet” of the world. Why would any corporation move its operations off-shore when the best tax “haven” on the planet is right here at home?" (Johnson, 2016)