Biden discusses workforce with Malloy, heads to fundraisers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Biden discusses workforce with Malloy, heads to fundraisers

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden came to Connecticut on Wednesday. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden came to Connecticut on Wednesday.
Goodwin College prepared for Biden's arrival. Goodwin College prepared for Biden's arrival.
Biden touched down in Connecticut shortly after noon time. (Com. Dir. Andrew Doba photo) Biden touched down in Connecticut shortly after noon time. (Com. Dir. Andrew Doba photo)

Vice President Joe Biden came to Connecticut on Wednesday where he spent most of the day talking about manufacturing with the governor and other dignitaries as well as college students. 

Officials said Biden arrived at Goodwin College in East Hartford around 1 p.m. He spoke about workforce development with about 17 people including Gov. Dannel Malloy during a roundtable discussion.

The discussion focused on the college's year-old Certified Production Technician program, which according to the governor's office is a collaboration between small and large local employers. 

Biden had praise for the Goodwin College. He called it a model for the rest of the country. He said that Goodwin students are learning high tech skills for manufacturing jobs, which are a big part of the future of the United States. 

"Manufacturing is coming back to the United States of America. In the last six years, the country has created 700,000 new manufacturing jobs and the government didn't do that," Biden said. "People are coming back because this is the best place in the world to do business."

Biden's Connecticut visit is part of his and the president's mission to "train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now." To read more on the Ready to Work Initiative, click here.

The state said with many baby boomers reaching retirement age, the goal is to fill those jobs with Connecticut workers. Goodwin said the manufacturing program provides hands-on training to make sure students are qualified and certified.

There were only about 17 people in the room with the vice president, the governor and members of the Connecticut congressional delegation. There were also business leaders including the CEO of United Technologies, which is based in Hartford.

Streets around the college were closed in preparation for Biden's visit and security surrounded the campus. The added security was a surprise to Goodwin employees, faculty and many students.

"I didn't know," said Jessica Quinones, who is a nursing student at Goodwin College. "I found out this morning."

The college knew about Biden's visit last week, but was told not to say anything publicly. College officials told Eyewitness News they just were given the guest list on Tuesday night. 

Biden will be making a total of three stops, including two political fundraisers in Fairfield County. Democrats hope the visits will bring in money for their party and the Democratic Governors Association.

Beyond Biden's visit to Goodwin, he traveled to Greenwich for an event at a private residence for the association. He was expected to attend an event for the Democratic Party of Connecticut in Stamford.

The election in November is a rematch of the 2010 race between Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley. Poll numbers show that the race is a tight one.

Biden and Malloy have teamed up before. They pushed for stricter gun laws following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Republican National Committee issued a statement on Wednesday during Biden's visit.

"With double the amount of fundraisers than official events, it's clear Vice President Biden's visit is more about salvaging Dan Malloy's reelection chances and treating Connecticut as Democrats' piggy bank than anything having to do with creating jobs," said Michael Short, spokesman for the RNC.

The vice president landed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks shortly after noon and was expected to take off again later tonight.

To see more pictures from Biden's visit, click here

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