Congressman Hanna in Cortland Wednesday to Promote Education Opportunity Act
Republican Congressman Richard Hanna was in the area Wednesday; Hanna who is seeking re-election to another two-year term used his visit to promote his new bill aimed at educating the future workers.
Congressman Hanna made stops at Tompkins Cortland Community College and toured the Cortland Plastics manufacturing plant on South Main Street.
During his visit Hanna talked about the Science Technology Engineering Math Education Opportunity Act, it’s a bill he authored and has been co-sponsored by Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of Long Island.
The legislation looks to increase the number of students who enter technical fields by offering tax deductions equal to the student’s higher education expenses including tuition, room, and board.
Hanna says increasing the number of skilled workers will in turn increase the number of middle class taxpayers, which will support long-term economic growth.
A prime example of the need for skilled workers can be found at Cortland Plastics, while the startup company has grown over the past seven years adding production equipment and creating 45 jobs, future growth in the business is being hampered by a lack of trained and skilled workers.
Dave Kievit General Manager at the company says while the plastics touch almost every aspect of daily life there are few schools offering training in the field and fewer students are being encouraged to look at the plastics industry despite good paying stable employment.
Hanna’s bill would also offer business like Cortland Plastics tax breaks as an incentive to create educational programs that can be brought into high schools to help generate interest in technical careers before students begin college.
Hanna is facing a challenge to his bid for reelection from Freeville Democrat Dan Lamb.