UTICA, NY | March 22, 2011 -
Good morning, and welcome to our second field hearing of the 112th Congress. It is good to be here in Utica, New York with Representative Hanna. Thank you all for coming, and special thanks to our witnesses. We appreciate you taking the time to join us today, and we look forward to your testimony.
These are tough times, and although our economic recovery remains uncertain, we are encouraged by recent progress and the resilience of the American people. Families, workers, and small business owners from the great state of New York and across the country are leading us toward a more prosperous tomorrow.
As members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, we are keenly aware of how closely related education is to the strength of the workforce. A student’s success in the classroom will help determine their success in the workplace. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that individuals who fail to advance in their education are more likely to be unemployed and earn lower wages.
Understanding the challenges and opportunities facing local communities is critical to ensuring Washington does not stand in the way of growth and prosperity. As we work to improve the nation’s education system and foster a growing economy, it is more important than ever to hear from folks on the ground about the challenges and opportunities they see in our schools and workforce. That’s why we’re here today.
We want to learn about the policies that may be standing in the way of job creation, right here in Utica. We want to hear your thoughts on encouraging academic success in our classrooms, and get your ideas on how we can work together – on the local, state, and federal levels – to reinvigorate the American spirit of innovation and prepare the students of today to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow.
Again, we are grateful to our panelists for participating in today’s hearing, and I’m looking forward to getting this discussion underway. Let me also thank my committee colleague Richard Hanna for his gracious invitation to hold a field hearing here in his district, and without objection I now yield to him for his opening remarks.