EDUCATION

Funding education initiatives means a stronger economy

In her annual State of the State message the Governor said we need to increase the education and training of men and women. These initiatives are critical for New Hampshire’s continued and future growth because expanding businesses need a quality, educated work force.

Most employers and public policy experts tell us that a growing, qualified workforce is just as important as tax considerations and incentives when businesses consider expansion. The Seacoast and Portsmouth benefit from a diverse and educated work force and that’s a major reason why business expands here.

New Hampshire boasts the lowest unemployment rate in 15 years, a budget surplus for 2015, strong revenues for 2016, and a boost in the "rainy day" fund. But for those still struggling to find meaningful, sustained employment the 3.1 percent unemployment number brings little comfort.

To create meaningful and fulfilling jobs and move our economy forward, expanded training and educational opportunities are critical.

While the low unemployment number is a good thing it may actually slow some economic development opportunities. A focus on quality, affordable education is an investment in our citizens and a powerful incentive for enhancing New Hampshire's economic base.