As early voting began in both Hamilton and Bradley Counties, David Testerman, Democratic candidate for State Senate District 10, said the newly reconfigured district "has the potential to provide real connection between the two counties and their needs in the future."
Mr. Testerman, a county school board member and former principal, said, “Job growth in this entire area is directly linked to education. I am running to defend the public school system, create safer streets, and to work toward bringing back solutions that successful helped young people find good jobs.
He said he "firmly believes that re-instituting a vocational school near downtown Chattanooga, like the old Kirkman High School, preparing its students for the jobs of the future, is vital. We must get re-involved with project-based education Right now, we have a tracking system - you go to college or you don’t. But there are great jobs that require only 18 months of continued education. Too many kids are getting four-year degrees in subjects for which there are no jobs. We can change that at the state level.
”Putting support behind vocational education will also help solve the 'jobs vs. jail' dilemma. If young people are given a chance to experience a productive work environment, and good mentoring opportunities with adults, such as through apprenticeship programs, it gives them something to believe in. They see they can make a good living without having to go to college and without turning to crime.
”Trade jobs - building, electrical, steel working and others - will always be there. But there are new demands even in these jobs, and the workers of the future must be trained to be able to execute those new demands.”
Another concern for the candidate is the rising cost of public education, making it impossible for some to pursue their dreams. “Let’s provide incentives to businesses to take an active part in educating the workers of the future,” he said.
“I will make decisions at the state level that will positively impact all of our communities and all of our citizens. I believe in government for the people, not government that is done to the people,” Mr. Testerman said.
Testerman is a 1983 honor graduate of Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, where he obtained two master’s degrees, a master of science in education administration and supervision and a master of arts in curriculum and instruction. He is also a 1976 honor graduate of Tennessee Temple University, where he earned BS and BA degrees in secondary education and religion respectively.
The candidate is a 42-year resident of District 10 and has owned property in the district for 35 years. Mr. Testerman has four children, who have all have graduated from the Hamilton County School System and from college. He is a member of Central Baptist Church.