EDITORIAL: Focus on degrees, not debt

York Dispatch

Thumbs up: to a York-based consortium that includes Rep. Kevin Schreiber, students and higher education advocates to discuss student debt and the burden in places on graduates.

York College of Pennsylvania's Student Senate President Abhi Kudaravalli speaks during State Rep. Kevin Schreiber's Student Debt Day of Action discussion at The Pullo Center in York, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert  photo

The national average student loan debt is $28,950. In Pennsylvania, that number is $33,624 – third highest in the nation.

Schreiber said the group wants to help student focus on getting degrees without being overwhelmed with debt.

Higher ed leaders, students discuss student debt

Those interviewed for our story this week said they still believe an investment in education is vital. But without real solutions, graduates face an uphill battle trying to make ends meet as they embark on their first jobs.

This type of conversation – that gets stakeholders around the table – is a good first step in finding creative ways to finance higher education.

Thumbs up: to voters who participated in Tuesday’s primary in which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump emerged victorious.

Nearly 40 percent of potential voters cast ballots, according to the York elections office.

There were some long lines – and there was a bit of confusion regarding the closed nature of the primary in which only registered members of a party may vote for delegates or candidates.

High primary turnout leads to lines at York County polls

Additionally, a dry-run referendum about judges retirement ages remained on the ballot, although those who cast a vote won’t see their votes counted. That’s because it was determined that the question needed to be clarified and resubmitted for the general election in November – an error that caused confusion and cost taxpayers about $1.3 million.

Glitches notwithstanding, the unique nature of this election, with its anti-establishment fervor, has spurred Yorkers to get out and vote.

And we’d like to commend them for doing so. We hope the trend continues to November’s general election – and beyond.

Thumbs up: to York’s entrepreneurs who hosted Department of Labor Secretary Kathy Manderino on her “Jobs That Pay” tour this week.

Among those visited by Manderino and a crew including MANTEC President John Lloyd and several state Department of Community and Economic Development representatives were the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, Crispus Attucks, Shipley Energy, Gavin, United Fiber & Data and York Revolution.

State Department of Labor Secretary visits York businesses

Even legacy companies, such as Shipley Energy, have an entrepreneurial culture, Manderino remarked as she applauded local employers for their commitment to York.

Manderino said she could feel the growing "vibrancy" of downtown York City, making it a very enticing option for young professionals.

"Not just us, but all of our regional economic development agencies, we have to tell the whole story," Manderino said. "This is a vibrant, affordable region to work and live.

We are grateful these employers have committed themselves to our community and we hope that the jobs they provide and the success they generate encourages other employers to do the same.