Hillary Clinton will on Wednesday call for a federal apprenticeship program as a path to reducing youth unemployment, aides said, her first new policy proposal since officially launching her campaign this week.
Speaking at a technical college in Charleston, South Carolina, Clinton will propose rewarding businesses with a tax credit of $1,500 for every apprentice they hire. She will say that the program would encourage businesses to take on more young workers.
Apprenticeships are a major benefit for workers who see large annual earnings gains, Clinton will argue, as well as a boon for businesses that receive a tax credit.
Clinton has been workshopping a series of policies set to be released this summer on a rolling basis that her aides suggest will amount to about one a week. She called this week for universal pre-kindergarten, but previewed that program in her launch speech on Roosevelt Island on Saturday.
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Much of Clinton’s rhetoric and proposals over the course of the last two months has been solidly progressive: she has called for automatic voter registration, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and paid sick leave, among others.
But on some business issues she has moved away from the liberal line. She has not condemned the Trans-Pacific Partnership as her competition for the Democratic nomination has and she has called for reducing regulations on small banks and businesses. Linking apprenticeships with tax credits has received bipartisan support in Congress, Clinton’s aides pointed out, with Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Maria Cantwell as well as Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Tim Scott supporting similar programs.
Clinton aides cited an unemployment rate among 18- to 34-year-olds of 7.8%, a rate that was nearly double among African-Americans. In order to win in a general election, Clinton will need to mobilize the black voters who overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
As she has for much of the campaign, Clinton will discuss her proposals on Wednesday in personal terms, citing her mother’s first job as a housekeeper and her own first job working for the Children’s Defense Fund in South Carolina.
Clinton is headed to Nevada on Thursday where she will speak with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and meet with veterans.
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