Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert McCord spoke Monday to students in Ned Rauch-Mannino's economics class about his role as chief executive of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. The course, titled “Economics of State and Local Governments” (ECON 3513), examines the relationships between state and local governments in providing public services and the driving factors behind economic and community development.
Treasurer McCord explained that the role of the state treasurer is to safeguard the state's $120 billion in public funds. The treasurer directs the state's investments, oversees Pennsylvania's pension funds and 529 plan, directs the unclaimed property bureau and generally serves as "fiscal watchdog" for the state's budget.
McCord encouraged students who may be interested in public service to consider internships with local public offices such as zoning commissioners and county executives,in order to build relationships and open doors to future opportunities.
"Getting to know people in smaller offices will have a bigger impact on your careers down the road," he said.
Of the current Pennsylvania budget proposal, which includes a substantial reduction to the state appropriation for higher education, including the appropriation for state-related institutions such as Temple, McCord said, "There's a difference between investing and spending for consumption: Higher education is an investment."
Treasurer McCord, a Democrat running for a second term in office, is among several city and state leaders who will visit the course as guest speakers over the course of the semester.