Green Bay, WI

Thank you, Miguel. Joe promised he would choose a Secretary of Education who came from the classroom and we could not have asked for a better one than you.

And it’s amazing to be here with another educator: Governor Evers. You’ve been a remarkable leader for this state. Joe and I are grateful for your partnership and we can’t wait to host you and Kathy at the White House next week for the National Governor’s Association Meeting.

Mayor Genrick, thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful city once again – and for all you do for this community.

Chairman Hill, thank you for taking the time to be with us today.

I’m in Green Bay today because something special is happening here, something transformative. And we want other parts of the state and country to follow your example.

You elected my husband, President Biden, because he wanted to rebuild the middle class. But what does that look like? And how do you do it?

It looks like what’s happening here. Where President Biden and state leaders are transforming education, reimagining middle school and high school classrooms and turning them into places where students can try out different careers, explore their interests, and discover how to turn those interests into good-paying jobs. It looks like classrooms that aren’t only traditional spaces with desks, but that are kitchens where students learn culinary skills…greenhouses where students learn how to grow vegetables and plants…metal shops and fabrication labs, where students learn how to build things.

A curriculum that combines learning in a school with hands-on learning; real-world experience working at a credit union or in the city parks department or at a hospital.

This is what it means to prepare students for careers. And when done well, hundreds of students graduate each year with the skills they need to fill the jobs that pay well and are right here, in their hometown.

Nearly 60 percent of graduating high school students don’t go directly to a four-year college. Six out of every ten students. Some will start working. Some will go to community or technical colleges. Some won’t know what they want to do next.

That’s why our education system needs to adapt, it needs to transform.

You’re leading that change here in Northeast Wisconsin. Thank you. I know it takes an entire community – it takes partners like the Green Bay Chamber, and local businesses like Bellin Health…it takes school leaders like Sara Greenwood and Mike Snowberry. It takes a governor like Governor Evers, and a mayor, like Mayor Genrick, who are supporting career-connected learning. And it takes students, like Katelyn and Adam and Mason, who are taking advantage of these opportunities to work toward their goals.

I want you to know that President Biden is your partner in these efforts. He knows that education is about setting students up for success in life. And success has many paths. That’s why his vision for education involves students learning not only in a traditional classroom, but also outside in the community and on the job, where students can gain hands-on experience and build skills for a lifelong career.

And that vision is coming alive here in Northeast Wisconsin, because of the people in this room. You are providing students with an incredible education, an opportunity to discover what they love to do, and a solid foundation for their future.

I can’t wait to hear more about the work you’re doing. Thank you.


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