The Biden administration says it wants to help Americans find good jobs whether or not they have a college degree. This comes as the Democratic Party tries to connect with working class voters ahead of the 2024 presidential race.
President Joe Biden touted his work to increase spending on infrastructure and manufacturing in a White House press release on Tuesday. “The purpose of this collaborative vision is to build our workforce by ensuring every American — whether they go to college or not — will have equitable access to high-quality training, education and services that provide a path to a good career without leaving their community,” the press release said.
The administration laid out priorities tied to the initiative, including increasing access to apprenticeship programs, making investments in clean-energy jobs, and increasing the number of union jobs.
This isn’t the first time that Biden has voiced his desire for more union workers.
In February of last year, the White House released a plan that included 70 ideas on how to increase union membership, whose numbers have been declining for decades, according to CBS News.
Some view Biden’s tactics as a way to increase his votes in the working class — a demographic that has been trending toward Republicans.
“The Democratic Party has become a cosmopolitan, college-educated party even though it’s a party that considers itself a party of working people,” said David Axelrod, one of former President Barack Obama’s top advisers, per The New York Times.
Axelrod continued, “There’s a sense among working-class voters, and not just white working-class voters, that the party doesn’t relate to them or looks down on people who work with their hands or work with their backs or do things that don’t require college education.”
Following Biden’s reelection announcement, he spoke to a crowd of union workers at the North America’s Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference on April 25.
“I ran for president to rebuild the backbone of America, the middle class; to grow the economy from the middle out and bottom up, not the top down. Because when the middle class does well, the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do very well. You don’t have to worry about them. We all do well,” he said to the crowd.
Biden is working to win back middle and working class voters by promising better jobs and economic growth, even as they remain frustrated about the cost of living.
Tyler Wissman who was at the conference told the Times that he has never heard a politician talk about not needing a college degree in order to be successful. As someone who was in his apprenticeship at the Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia and identifies as an independent, Wissman said he has never voted in a presidential election before, but said that might change — especially has he is about to have his second child with his girlfriend.
“I want in office whoever is going to help me put food on my table,” Wissman told the Times. “At the end of the day, that’s all it’s going to come down to.”