Sec’y of State Jesse White endorses Giannoulias, calling him “Dem’s best choice”

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White formally endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias today, voicing support for his plan to renew investment in scientific innovation and improve the American education system so our children are better equipped to lead in the global economy.

Standing with the State Treasurer and school teachers at Ariel Community Academy on Chicago’s South Side, White called Giannoulias a strong advocate for education and the party’s best choice to retain President Obama’s former seat.
 
“Alexi is taking pro-active steps to ensure that future generations are well-equipped and have the necessary tools to find good-paying jobs after graduation,” said White, who has dedicated much of his life to public service and helping at-risk kids make the right choices and succeed in life. “I’m proud to support my friend Alexi, who has a proven record of saving and creating jobs and is the only Democrat in the race with a comprehensive plan to turn our economy around.”
 
The sixth component of Giannoulias’ Future Works America plan to rebuild the American economy incentivizes private sector research and development in emerging technology and industries, and boosts math and science education.
 
Eras of dramatic innovation in our nation’s history have been marked by government investing in new industries and strengthening our education system,” Giannoulias said.
 
“It’s essential that we promote collaboration between business, academia and the public sector to solve problems, develop energy alternatives and boost manufacturing,” he added. “Government can play the role as catalyst by sending clear market signals that research and development will be rewarded and quality education supported.”
 
Giannoulias called for the creation of a $100 million Innovation Partnership Investment Fund to promote research and development at American colleges and universities. The federal fund would match private donations up to $1 million, encouraging university research in new energy resources and information technology. Participating college students would gain valuable research experience and attain the necessary skills to land good-paying jobs after graduation.
 
As Senator, Giannoulias would also push to create the next generation of innovators in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through incentives to attract well-trained teachers and highly skilled workers.
 
Giannoulias’ plan would establish a merit-based scholarship program aimed at attracting 25,000 new teachers who obtain a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field and a K-12 teacher’s certification.  He also would establish a $1,000 tax credit for businesses that offer STEM-related apprenticeships to young people.
 
“To keep pace with our international peers when it comes to science and math education, we need to invest more in our teachers and students to unlock their full potential so they can compete at the highest level,” said Giannoulias, noting that the U.S. is in danger of falling behind emerging economies like China as they invest heavily in education and innovation.

According to Giannoulias, the federal government must also play a larger role in giving businesses the tools and incentives they need to invest in the next generation of technological and scientific breakthroughs as a means to realize gains in productivity and job growth.
 
To achieve that goal, Giannoulias would make permanent the tax credit for companies that invest in research and development and raise the rate to 40 percent from 20 percent. Giannoulias also supports full funding of the bipartisan America Competes legislation to provide more funding for science and technology research.

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