Duane Milne says his fourth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is going to be all about jobs. That means it’s going to be all about education.
After topping Democratic challenger Rob Broderick by a 59 percent to 41 percent margin, the freshly reelected 167th District representative promised to pursue serious higher education reform in his next two years in Harrisburg, with an eye on better preparing Pennsylvanians for the high-skill jobs that are in their backyards.
To this end, the Republican said he will nudge the Commonwealth’s community colleges, vocational schools, and even traditional four year colleges towards a curriculum that “focuses on the kind of career paths that are going to be on the vanguard in Pennsylvania.”
“There’s going to be a lot of interest in natural gas and all the spinoff jobs that come from that. Engineering and a lot of science jobs in addition to the labor jobs and gas drilling,” Milne said in reference to the state’s abundant natural gas reserves.
“We’re trying to get the colleges to be retooled to be a pipeline, no pun intended, into that sector.”
Milne added that the biotech and biomedical industries, both “crucial in the Route 29 corridor,” are another potential source of local job growth. He said he plans to use tax credits to promote their expansion in the area.
But with his campaign against Broderick over (a campaign spokesman for the Democrat said he was unavailable to comment) the Republican took a moment to look backward as well as forward. The race was a good one, he admitted. He likened it to a conversation.
“I’m just glad we had a campaign that focused largely on the issues,” he said.
“Now that it’s over it’s time for Pennsylvanians of both parties to work together. We have lots of challenges as a state, as the nation does.”