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Abbott Launches Effort To Prepare New Generation of Workers

Also, calls increase for the controversial, newly elected Travis County Republican Party chairman to step aside.

Texas Education Agency chief Mike Morath, r, with Gov. Greg Abbott announce an Education Superhighway partnership on Mar. ...

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the state’s education commissioner (Mike Morath), higher education commissioner (Raymond Paredes) and a workforce commissioner (Andres Alcantar) to take a closer look at what’s needed to prepare students better for entering the workforce.

The three men will hold hearings across the state between now and September to help them with their findings and recommendations. The cities to be visited include Midland, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, McAllen, Tyler/Longview and Austin.

Abbott this week also accepted Site Selection magazine’s annual "Governor’s Cup" on Wednesday, the fourth consecutive time Texas has won the award for capital investment and job creation and the seventh time since 2004.

Sitting next to all of those trophies, which he joked would soon require a bigger table, Abbott said the state has “built the platform that establishes the right policies that attract businesses to come here and grow here.”

Abbott also condemned Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Israel that resulted in the stabbing death of native Texan Taylor Force, who was visiting the country as a graduate student at Vanderbilt University. Abbott had visited the country recently on a business development trip and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It came as a stunning shock to me to learn earlier today that in the great nation that I just visited, a Texan lost his life because of a terrorist attack,” Abbott said. “I strongly condemn that terrorism and reiterate the way that Texas will stand side by side with our friend and ally Israel on doing all that we can to stomp out terroristic activities like this in Israel.”

Abbott added that he has no plans to meet with President Barack Obama when the commander-in-chief visits Texas this Friday. The governor blasted Obama’s handling of border security again Wednesday, but declined to say whether the border between Texas and Mexico needs a wall, deferring that decision to the next president.

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In an op-ed, the board of directors of the Austin Young Republicans is calling on newly elected Travis County Republican Party Chairman Robert Morrow “to step aside and not assume” leadership of the party.

The leadership of the Austin Young Republicans, which represents members from 18 to 40, noted that just 45,000 of the more than 80,000 who voted in the Tuesday primary election participated in the party chairman election.

The op-ed reads in part:

“The drop-off in voter participation for down ballot races is not surprising. The result of this particular race, however, is truly dumbfounding: sitting Chairman James Dickey was bested by a lewd, foul-mouthed conspiracy theorist, Robert Morrow. … If elections have consequences, the effects for Republicans in Travis County could not be more ominous. The role of the party chairman is to elect Republicans to public office, and in liberal Travis County, Republicans cannot afford to have the public face of our party conduct himself in such a disgusting, unprofessional manner.”

Austin Republican state Rep. Paul Workman joined in later this week in calling on Morrow to step aside.

In a statement, Workman said, “Robert Morrow is an embarrassment to the Travis County Republican Party. His vulgar, profanity-laced outbursts in no way represent my values, the values of our party, or the beliefs of Republican voters. … I stand with the many Republicans in our community who have condemned Mr. Morrow’s behavior, and I call on him to do the honorable thing and allow someone else to become the Travis County Republican Party Chairman.”

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