2016 Presidential Candidates: Workforce


Having the right skill set is necessary for finding and holding the right job. Strong schools, workforce training programs, and balanced labor policies encourage lifelong learning and help employees become productive participants in the workplace and in the growth of business.

Democratic Candidate*

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton  

IMMIGRATION: "Hillary is advocating for: A fair and just immigration system. Every family should feel like they belong in this country. Instead of breaking up law-abiding immigrant families who have enriched America for years, Hillary will offer them a path to citizenship. Comprehensive immigration reform. The American people support comprehensive immigration reform—not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it strengthens families, our economy, and our country. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy. Defending executive actions. Hillary will defend President Obama’s executive actions on immigration from partisan attacks that would put DREAMers at risk of deportation. And if Congress continues to refuse to act, she will do everything possible under the law to go further. She will put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children. Conducting humane, common sense enforcement. Immigration enforcement must be more humane, more targeted, and more effective. We will focus our limited resources on those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety." (hilaryclinton.com, 2015)

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: "Raising the minimum wage and strengthening overtime rules. Hillary believes we are long overdue in raising the minimum wage. She has supported raising the federal minimum wage to $12, and believes that we should go further than the federal minimum through state and local efforts, and workers organizing and bargaining for higher wages, such as the Fight for 15 and recent efforts in Los Angeles and New York to raise their minimum wage to $15. She also supports the Obama Administration’s expansion of overtime rules to millions more workers." (hilaryclinton.com, 2015)

EDUCATION: Hillary believes that every child, no matter his or her race, income, or ZIP code, should be guaranteed a high-quality education. That's why she has been working to improve and support our public schools for decades. As first lady of Arkansas, she chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Commission, fighting to raise academic standards, increase teacher salaries and lower class sizes. As first lady of the United States, she chaired the first-ever convening on Hispanic Children and Youth, which focused on improving access to educational opportunities. And, as a United States Senator, she served on the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee as a key member shaping the No Child Left Behind Act, with the hopes that it would bring needed resources and real accountability to improve educational opportunities for our most disadvantaged students. But the promise of No Child Left Behind was not fulfilled. Hillary knows that we have real work to do to fulfill the promise that every child in America should receive a high-quality education. (Clinton, 2015)

COMMON CORE:  “When I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful, because the Common Core started off as a bi-partisan effort — it was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized, it was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, that there wouldn’t be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that. Now I think part of the reason why Iowa may be more understanding of this is you’ve had the Iowa Core for years, you’ve had a system, plus the Iowa Assessment tests. I think I’m right in saying I took those when I was in elementary school, right — the Iowa tests. So Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time, and you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. And a lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that, and so don’t understand the value of a core in this sense  a common core that then — yes of course you can, y’know, figure out the best way, in your community to try to reach.”  (Clinton, 2015)

Republican Candidate*

Donald TrumpDonald Trump

COMMON CORE: "I am totally against Common Core." (Trump, 2015)

EDUCATION: "Education has to be local." (Trump, 2015)

IMMIGRATION: “When politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.  Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.

3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans."  (Trump, 2015)

*Leading presidential candidates as of July 21, 2016.  To see all candidates or search for other candidates, please click here.