ASHLAND, Ky. (WOWK) – Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear spoke to a group of locals on Wednesday at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 248 in Ashland on what he would like the future workforce of the state to look like if he is elected governor.
“The median wage here in this commonwealth is not enough to be able to afford to raise our families, and for many counties here in Eastern Kentucky our personal income is dropping,” said Beshear.
The candidate for governor wants to put “workers first” in the bluegrass state by creating better paying jobs.
“I know people who work who have to work three jobs. . . the husband and wife generally have to work one or two jobs each,” said Stephen Payton, a retired union worker who attended Beshear’s speech in Ashland.
Beshear was joined by local leaders on Wednesday afternoon, including his running mate for lieutenant governor Jacqueline Coleman, House Democratic floor leader Rocky Adkins, and state representative Terri Branham Clark, to unveil phase one of the Beshear/ Coleman “Kitchen Table” agenda.
Its a “sweeping jobs plan” for creating good-paying jobs in agritech and advanced manufacturing.
“These are jobs the future, and these are six-figure jobs we can create across rural Kentucky,” said Beshear.
Part of the plan focuses on creating and growing the agritech and advanced manufacturing sectors in the state through tax incentives, launching of agritech business accelerators, micro-loans and increasing access to credit for small businesses, and prioritizing local Kentucky manufactures for government contracts.
The other part of the plan discussed was about creating a pipeline for high skilled and talented workers that can compete with surrounding states.
His plan addresses creating stronger relationships with labor unions, investing in community technical colleges, and creating career awareness in middle students in agritech and advanced manufacturing jobs, so they can develop a career pathway when they reach high school.
“This governor’s attacks on our labor unions and his defunding of community and technical colleges has hurt our workforce,” said Beshear
One person who was in the audience to hear Beshear speak told WOWK 13 News that he likes what the candidate is selling.
“I like his whole plan. It’s great,” said Payton
Beshear cited reports from CNBC in his plan that Kentucky currently ranks near the bottom in the nation for “best states to do business”(#39) and for “workforce”(#40), but we will see in November if he gets a chance to unravel his plan across the state.
Beshear is running for governor against incumbent Matt Bevin; The general election is November 5, 2019