Wisconsin families need access to affordable, effective education that prepares students for the jobs of the future. In Congress, I’ll bring Wisconsin-style solutions to make education accessible for workers so they can earn the degrees and learn the skills they need to be successful.

Growing up in Janesville and attending Craig High School, I had dedicated teachers who provided me the skills and education needed in an ever-changing world. Education has had a profound impact on my life, and that’s why I have given back to a field that has given so much to me.

While working for a company in Beloit, I volunteered to teach business skills to middle-school students in the Junior Achievement program. Junior Achievement is a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching kids the basics and beyond about business, accounting, finance, marketing and entrepreneurship. I enjoyed sharing my passion for education and experience working for a local manufacturing company with students in the program.

I volunteered with the Junior Achievement program because it’s clear to me that a high-quality education is critical, especially today as Wisconsin faces a skills gap between jobs that are available and the skills these new jobs demand. An education that prepares workers for the jobs of the future enables them, like it did me, to find work with higher wages and better benefits. That’s what I’ll fight for in Congress.

I’ll bring to Congress my background in the private sector as well as my experience serving on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. In 2016, Gov. Scott Walker asked me to serve on the Board of Regents and I was unanimously confirmed by the state Senate. It’s a responsibility that I take seriously. Helping to oversee the UW System and its 26 campuses, $6 billion budget, and 170,000 students is important and complex, but the decisions we make on the board come down to a simple question. What is in the best interest of our Wisconsin students?

That’s why I voted against increases in student fees and voted to keep tuition frozen. It’s the students who matter the most and students need access to affordable education.

I’ll take a similar approach to Washington. My votes will be determined by what is in the best interest of folks in southeast Wisconsin. I’ll push for Wisconsin-style solutions to the problems and gridlock in Washington.

One of the first items on my agenda is to prepare workers for the jobs of the future with an affordable, high-quality education. Whether it’s high-tech manufacturing, health care, or the construction trades, workers deserve the opportunity to receive an education that fits their budget and prepares them for jobs and careers with high wages and good benefits.

A Wisconsin-style solution to improve education is allowing more students to learn a vocational skill and earn a four-year degree, all within four years. In Wisconsin, progress has been made allowing students to transfer credits between schools, but regulatory burdens get in the way of greater cooperation between universities and the workforce. In Congress, I’ll work to get federal regulations out of the way so workers can receive the education they need at a price they can afford.

Above all, I’ll take to Washington my passion and experience for education. Combined with my 10 years’ experience solving problems in the private sector, I’ll make sure individuals have the preparation they need to be able to take advantage of jobs of the future. On Nov. 6, I humbly ask for your vote.

Bryan Steil is the Republican candidate in Congressional District 1, the seat Rep. Paul Ryan is vacating.

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