By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor
Democratic candidate for governor, Nan Whaley stopped by IBEW Local 245 in Rossford on Monday, with Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz by her side, to tout her “One Good Job Pledge,” a plan to increase Ohio’s workforce through training and union apprenticeships.
“Our administration will give you access to training and good paying union jobs through our ‘One Good Job Pledge,” said Whaley, former mayor of Dayton, as she opened her remarks flanked by leaders of the IBEW Local.
“If you are willing to get your hands dirty, we are going to put you to work fixing our roads, bridges, replacing lead pipes and expanding broadband,” she added.
Whaley was introduced on Monday by Kapszikiewicz who used his time at the microphone to excoriate Gov. Mike DeWine and his fellow Republicans for their part in allowing Ohio to deteriorate in so many categories over the last decade in particular.
“Nan Whaley was born in 1976,” said the Toledo mayor, “the same year Mike DeWine was first elected to public office. He has been in public office for her entire life. It’s a perfect example of the status quo. If you’re happy with the way things are going, he’s your candidate.”
Kapszukiewicz is clearly not happy with the way things are going. “Everything in our state is trending the wrong way – we are last in all the categories you want to be first in and first in all the categories you want to be last in.”
He noted that the state is near the bottom of the U.S. in areas such as population lost, the unemployment rate, life expectancy, educational attainment. “On everything we are trending the wrong way and, according to the FBI, we have the most corrupt state government in the USA.”
Whaley, said Kapszukiewicz, can move the state in a different direction.
“If Ohioans want a change, she’s the only person on the ballot who can provide that change,” he said of her platform and her “One Good Job Pledge.”
Whaley opened her address by continuing that criticism of DeWine and the majority Republican General Assembly. She noted that the current administration was fixated on big ribbon cutting ceremonies in the Columbus area while ignoring other communities around the state such as Toledo and Dayton.
“We are going to give every Ohioan a chance to do meaningful work in their community,” said Whaley. “It’s vital that Ohioans take innovative steps and set up our state for success.”
Whaley explained that her program will “take real action to fill the gap between the number of jobs available and the workers.” She noted that the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill had provided funding for projects but Ohio doesn’t have the workforce to undertake such jobs
In fact, there are not enough workers in the state, said Whaley, for the Intel construction project in the Columbus area and workers will have to be brought in from other states.
To start, under the Whaley plan, the state will place $65 million into apprenticeship readiness programs around Ohio. That will prepare workers all around the state for union apprenticeships. She estimates that 17 thousand workers will be trained during the first four years of her administration to step into jobs that will tackle the state’s infrastructure.
To guarantee that such work is rewarded with proper pay, the state will initiate project labor agreements for large state projects. “Requiring PLA’s will ensure a living wage is paid so that Ohioans can be lifted into middle class.”
That investment, said Whaley, will enable her to fill her campaign goal of seeing that “pay goes up, bills go down and the state government working for you.”