Ernst visits Hinton business class, discusses small business

Friday, January 20, 2023
(Sentinel Photo by Sarah LaBrune Jongeling) Senator Joni Ernst speaks to Hinton High School business students on Wednesday.

HINTON — Hinton Community School students in Clint Sargent’s business class got a visit from Senator Joni Ernst on Wednesday, Jan. 18. 

It is part of the R.A.P.I.L. (Regents Alternative Pathways to Iowa Licensure) Program from the state of Iowa.

RAPIL is a way to bring adults with real world experience into the classroom. Ernst is one of many speakers Sargent has lined up to share the ins and outs of working in politics, manufacturing, education, big business and more. 

Ernst spoke to the students about small business legislation, why she became a senator, election opposition and more. One key topic discussed was tuition forgiveness. 

“I think if you are incurring a debt and signing on the dotted line … you will be paying it back,” said Ernst. 

Ernst stated students need to look at their career choice and decide what salary range the job will provide to determine how much debt to incur. She suggested going to a community college first before a four year institution to cut back on the amount spent for higher education. 

Senior Alex Shanahan asked what it’s like working with Grassley.

“He remembers everything,” said Ernst. “He’s kind of an institution here in Iowa and Washington D.C.”

Ernst is serving as the small business committee ranking member and plans to focus on small businesses of 500 employees or less.

As part of her annual 99 county tour of Iowa, she is visiting small businesses to find out the needs such as growth, safety and taxation.

“There are a number of reasons government needs to be involved, but sometimes government goes too far,” said Ernst. “That’s where we can help.”

(Sentinel Photo by Sarah LaBrune Jongeling) Senator Joni Ernst discusses politics with Hinton Superintendent Ken Slater (right) and Hinton High School Principal Phil Goetstouwers.

Ernst was asked if she always wanted to be a senator. 

“It’s not something I planned to do,” said Ernst. “Your life is going to take a lot of twists and turns. On occasion being a senator can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding.”

Other key issues Ernst has planned for her term in Congress are passing the farm bill, modernizing small business and working on supporting armed service branches. Ernst also put a plug in for students to apply for an internship or ask for a nomination to a service academy.

After speaking at Hinton, Ernst headed to Arnold Motor Supply in Clay County. This is Ernst’s ninth year visiting all 99 counties.

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