When President Joe Biden recently touted the hundreds of billions of dollars invested into American manufacturing in the last two years, he included a talking point that previous Democratic presidents might not have bragged about. New factories in Ohio, he said, could offer thousands of “jobs paying $130,000 a year, and many don’t require a college degree.”
When Biden highlighted those non-college jobs at the State of the Union, it was just three weeks after Pennsylvania’s new Democratic governor Josh Shapiro eliminated the requirement of a four-year college degree for the bulk of jobs in Pennsylvania state’s government, two months after Utah’s Republican governor Spencer Cox did the same, and nearly one year after Maryland’s Republican governor Larry Hogan set off the trend. Since the president’s State of the Union, Alaska’s Republican governor Mike Dunleavy has also followed suit.
Maryland’s newly elected Democratic governor, Wes Moore, plans to continue opening up state jobs to non-college-educated workers, confirmed his spokesperson.
For liberal politicians like Moore, Shapiro, and Biden, promoting policies to help the more than 70 million American workers who never graduated from college is rooted partly in politics, as Democrats have struggled recently to earn support from non-college-educated voters, especially men. After decades of prioritizing college attendance, the Democratic Party has been scrambling to figure out how to change the widespread perception that its leaders are out of touch with the struggles of average people.