Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day, Texas!

Here in Texas, we have always enjoyed a strong work ethic among our citizens, which is one of the reasons we’ve weathered the economic downturn much better than most around the nation. While other states were raising taxes and losing jobs, we were lowering taxes, reducing state budgets and creating more jobs. As we celebrate Labor Day, let’s salute all the Texans who wake up every day and contribute to our economy. Your initiative, pride and sense of self-worth are what drive our strong economic engine in the Lone Star State.

To stay on top, our state must get ahead of two labor problems. One is the skills preparation of our workforce. Businesses investing in Texas need the confidence that our education system is able to prepare their future workers with the technical skills necessary for their operations. Sometimes this comes through college education and sometimes it is in the form of vocational and technical education programs. Both educational resources are critical to ensure we provide students with the knowledge and skills to enter our workforce and expand the Texas economy.

It also is essential we push Congress to move forward with strategic immigration reform that consists of border security first, complemented by a flexible guest worker program based on market demands. Businesses here in Texas must have a steady flow of workers willing to work. As always, Americans must have the first opportunity at a job, and where Americans are not lining up to fill positions, we must ensure guest workers are available to allow businesses to thrive. But the system we have today, as well as some policies being debated in Washington, encourages the flow and hiring of undocumented workers ahead of Americans and legal immigrant workers. 

If you’re enjoying a day off this Labor Day, I thank you for your daily efforts to better yourself, your family and our great state. If you’re working, thanks for keeping the powerful Texas economy churning. And if you’re working hard to find work today, I offer my encouragement and commend you for being motivated to be part of the solution instead of the problem. Together as hardworking Texans, we will continue to lead our nation on the road to economic prosperity. Happy Labor Day, Texas!

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