All blog posts related to the issue: Education
  • Creating manufacturing jobs at home in McMinnville

    As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Wyden knows the importance of innovative partnerships between the private sector and local schools to provide training that will generate good-paying manufacturing jobs in Oregon and nationwide.

    On Tuesday, he saw just such a partnership in action in Yamhill County between Yamhill-Carlton High School and Meggitt Polymers and Composites in nearby McMinnville.

    Meggitt makes polymer-related seals for the aerospace industry and has worked with other local businesses to develop an outreach program for the workforce it needs locally.

    During his visit to the high school, Sen. Wyden heard from top Meggitt officials as well as from school teachers and administrators how the estimated $250,000 the company has contributed to the school over the past three years has benefited students.

    Yamhill-Carlton students have received top-notch equipment and exposure to manufacturing techniques and machinery used at Meggitt, had their manufacturing shop completely rebuilt, and interacted directly with Meggitt executives and employees.

    It’s so exciting what’s going on at the high school,” Sen. Wyden said after an hourlong visit that included touring the school’s metal and wood shops and speaking with an AP government class. “It doesn’t get any better than this.

    From the high school, Sen. Wyden traveled to visit Meggitt’s facility in McMinnville. After touring the facility, Sen. Wyden spoke with about 75 employees and fielded their questions in a half-hour forum.

    He told the employees that he sees his job as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee as working to raise everybody’s wages, which he called “one of the premier economic issues of our time.”

    Sen. Wyden said one in five Oregon jobs depends on international trade, which often pay better than other jobs.

    Oregon prospers, he told the Meggitt employees, when it grows and makes products in the state, adds value to products in Oregon and then ships those products somewhere. He said that’s what happening at Meggitt.

    It’s clear what the ambition is here in McMinnville -- to beat the pants off the competition,” Sen. Wyden said.

    People in politics don’t create jobs,” he added. “The jobs come from you all -- the private sector … If I can help set the climate right, you all can do your thing.”

    Sen. Wyden spoke of how his bipartisan plan to lower the top tax rate from 35 percent to 24 percent would “reward the people who create what I call good-paying red-white-and-blue jobs.”

    Asked his definition of a good-paying job, Sen. Wyden described it as one that “lets you buy a house, buy a car, educate your kids ….maybe even once in a while go on a trip to the coast for a couple of days.”

    He linked the job training that students at Yamhill-Carlton High School are receiving from Meggitt as a vital support to ensure Oregon continues to grow its manufacturing base.

    This is a big piece of Oregon’s economic future,” he said. “Middle-class people are hurting and we need these kinds of jobs.”

  • School Libraries, Summer Lunch, Summer Learning

    Hunger doesn’t take the summer off and learning shouldn’t either. That’s why over the Fourth of July week Ron visited summer learning sites in Oregon. OregonASK (Oregon Afterschool Network), National Summer Learning Association, and their partners work with local schools to provide lunch and access to books and activities to Oregon kids in the summer. Low-income students more likely to experience the “summer slide” since they often lack the opportunities to keep learning over the summer.

    Ron stopped by three of the twenty-six School Libraries, Summer Lunch, Summer Learning sites. The first was Nellie Muir Elementary School in Woodburn where he read to students participating in the program. He also answered their questions including what it means to be a senator and what he does for Oregon.

    At Grant School in Salem and Guy Lee Park in Springfield, Senator Wyden helped to serve lunch, read with students and participated in a roundtable of Oregon educators and officials to discuss how to provide more kids with access to Summer Lunch, Summer Learning programs.

    During the week Ron also held his annual Curry and Coos County town halls, stopped at Ninkasi Brewing on the way, and marched in one of the best parades in Oregon – the Fourth of July parade in Ashland.

    After visiting the summer learning sites, Ron vowed to help efforts like these that make sure no kid goes hungry or experiences learning loss just because school’s out for the summer.

  • #DontDoubleMyRate

    For the second time in as many months, the Senate is expected to consider legislation that would return student loan interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans to 3.4 percent. As too many students and their families are well aware, on July 1st, these rates doubled to 6.8 percent. If left in place, this increase will add an average of $1,000 of debt per year of college to roughly 7 million students.

    Senator Wyden remains committed to ensuring the federal deficit is not balanced on the backs of students. This is why he cosponsored of the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act (S.1238), and has serious concerns on lifting the cap on interest rates or generating new savings for the government. Investing in higher education isn’t a government handout, it’s an investment in American students and America’s future. Congress should be getting rid of the obstacles that keep young people from getting the education they need to succeed, not getting in their way.

    Stand with students and tell Congress #DontDoubleMyRate