Speaking before roughly 300 supporters at a North Charleston technical college, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton backed a jobs training and apprenticeship plan being pushed by the area’s Republican senator.
“We have a long history of apprenticeships in our country,” Clinton said during her speech Wednesday. “When employers invest in on-the-job training, workers are more productive and businesses are more profitable. This is one of those economic strategies that’s win-win for everybody.”
The plan is similar to one being backed by North Charleston native and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, who is partnering with fellow Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey on the LEAP Act. That legislation currently in the Senate offer businesses a $1,500 tax credit for each apprentice they hire who is age 25 or younger. The tax credit would drop to $1,000 for an apprentice older than 25. The apprentices would have to register with either the federal government or the state to be eligible.
Trident Tech is one of several technical colleges that currently offer apprenticeship programs.
Clinton even gave credit to Scott (who enjoys an 83% approval rating among likely South Carolina GOP voters) during her speech. “This is about building our economy from the bottom up with people who have the skills, the drive and the work habits to really make the most of their own God-given potential,” she said.
The former Secretary of State said companies that invest in on-the-job training are more profitable, while workers are more productive.
National Republicans claimed Clinton was hypocritical for pushing the plan for Millenials while relying on a largely volunteer staff. “Clinton may want businesses to boost hiring of young adults, but her campaign expects unpaid labor,” the Republican National Committee said in an email blast before the speech.
Wednesday is Clinton’s second South Carolina visit since officially declaring her presidential candidacy in April. She visited the small lake town of Santee earlier in the day before heading to a downtown Charleston fundraiser after the Trident Tech event.
Clinton’s next stops are in Nevada Thursday where she will meet in a roundtable with veterans in Reno and then speak before the annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Las Vegas.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be in Charleston on Thursday. His speech is expected to focus more on defense and foreign policy.
Jay Harper contributed to this report