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Biden hails Renton Technical College for providing ‘pathways back into the middle class’

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RENTON — In just his third week as a student at Renton Technical College, James Cantway had the honor of introducing the vice president of the United States, Joe Biden.

“James, I’m proud of you, pal,” said Biden as he stepped up to the podium Thursday.

The vice president told the crowd he appreciates what Cantway is doing with his life, as a single dad, back at school, and training for a better job.

Biden was also a single dad for five years, raising two children, after his wife was killed in a car crash

“This good man here, raising a child by himself, he’s coming back here and finding out more about himself then he knew,” said Biden, pointing to Cantway. “He’s finding out, ‘I can do this.'”

Cantway called it a thrill to meet the vice president. Cantway is learning how to be an expert in property maintenance.

“I’m a hard-working guy, just trying to take care of my family.”

The vice president told the crowd at the college that there are a lot of Americans out there like Cantway, and a lot of companies that need them.

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"Right now, there are 100,000 high-tech jobs going unfilled every year," said Biden.

The vice president also toured the technical college, seeing the equipment and training up close.  A multimillion-dollar federal grant helped pay for a lot of it.

"We wouldn’t have been able to purchase a lot of the equipment that the students really need to train on," said College President Steve Hanson. "Especially for the jobs in the aerospace industry."

Biden believes the training at places like technical colleges will lead to jobs that will help boost the middle class.

"The middle class is still struggling," said Biden. "What you’re doing here is providing pathways back into the middle class."

After his stop at Renton Technical College,  Biden attended a private fundraising event in Seattle before taking off from Boeing Field.

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