Exact Transcription of Speech by First Lady Jill Biden.
Thank you, Robert.
Secretary Cardona – Miguel, thank you for your tireless advocacy for our nation’s students and workers. Isn’t it great to have a public school educator as our Secretary of Education?
First Gentleman Hochul, it’s always wonderful to see your passion for the people of this state.
Congressman Ryan, you are an incredible champion for this community. Joe is grateful for your partnership.
Executive O’Neil, and all the state and local leaders joining us, thank you for supporting this groundbreaking project.
Dr. Jordan, Dutchess Community College is lucky to have your leadership.
Robert, it’s students like you that are on my husband’s mind each day as he’s working to grow our economy.
You’re who he’s thinking about when he meets with cabinet members like Secretary Cardona or talks with your representatives in Washington or your governor or mayor.
Joe’s father used to say: a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. Joe watched his dad struggle to find good work. He saw how a job could change a family’s path.
I saw it too. My dad came from a family of Italian immigrants. His father delivered furniture for a living. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, my dad was able to get a degree and carve out a good life for my four sisters and me.
Joe and I understand the middle class, because we’re from the middle class.
That’s why Joe’s working so hard to invest in America.
Joe’s leadership has helped transform our economy, with more than 13 million jobs created, unemployment under four percent, and hundreds of billions invested in growing industries like clean energy and semiconductors.
He’s creating new opportunities for hard-working families, and building our economy from the middle out and the bottom up.
He and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, along with Congressman Ryan and many others in the New York delegation fought hard to pass the CHIPS and Science Act, so the Hudson Valley can be a leader in manufacturing.
He made sure federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan could go to programs like this one. Because employers need skilled workers to fill all the jobs being created.
And leaders like all of you – employers, high schools, community colleges, unions, and community organizations have come together to bridge the gap between learning and earning.
This new mechatronics lab will help students get the skills they need for the growing businesses here – preparing them for careers making everything from display screens to jet engines to semiconductors.
As a community college professor myself, I’m so excited to see how this work changes people’s lives.
Because for most people, a high school diploma alone isn’t enough to find a great career. But that doesn’t mean there’s only one path to success. Students can take college courses in high school, enroll in Registered Apprenticeships, or earn associate degrees.
That’s the Biden Education Pathway. It starts with free, high-quality, universal preschool and creates a high school experience that prepares students for their next steps.
It provides two years of affordable community college and opens up avenues to a four-year degree.
Things like unemployment rates and jobs created aren’t just numbers to Joe and me.
They represent real people – families trying to make a good life. Like Joe’s. Like mine. Maybe like yours.
A job is about more than a paycheck. It’s a path – a way to build the lives we want.
And everyone deserves the chance to do just that.
Thank you for making that possible right here in the Hudson Valley.
Joe and his Administration see all the work you’ve done and they’re grateful to partner with you today, tomorrow, and for all the days to come.
Together, we can fundamentally transform what it means to make a living and make a life here in America.