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Latino Voters Reward Education Candidates, Machinists Survey Says

Washington, D.C.

Latino voters would reward any presidential candidate who pushes for vocational and technical education, according to a poll conducted for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which represents 720,000 active and retired members nationally.

“There is an enormous hunger among blue-collar voters everywhere for a new approach to education that is not based on the pursuit of a four-year college degree,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “The employment opportunities are well established, with ninety percent of American manufacturers reporting moderate to severe shortages of skilled production workers. What we need now are programs, funding and an awareness that this nation relies on a highly skilled workforce.”

The survey by the Mellman Group, surveyed 1,200 likely Latino voters in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

Eighty-two percent of those polled said they favored a publicly funded program to guarantee high-school graduates two years of technical or vocational education, 70 percent said they would support a presidential candidate who shared their view.

Seventy-one percent of Latino voters polled said improved training was “one of the most important” or “very important” ways to improve the economy, ahead of expanding international trade, cutting taxes or cancelling unfair trade agreements.

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