Mayor Hodges, U.S. Labor Secretary Perez Discuss Building the Workforce and Workplace of the Future
Mayor, Secretary Tout Importance of Higher-Ed Access and Paid Leave
 
May 26, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) Today Mayor Betsy Hodges joined U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez at several roundtables in Minneapolis to highlight the importance of improving access to community and technical colleges and to providing employees with paid sick and family leave.
“Building the workforces and workplaces of the future is critical to the health of our economy and the health of our communities, said Mayor Hodges. “No one should have to choose between getting well and getting paid, and no one should have to choose between preparing for a career of prosperity and incurring decades of debt. I thank President Obama for his leadership in putting an end to these false choices.
“I’m very grateful that U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez was able to spend a full day in Minneapolis with me today to highlight two critical elements to setting us on the right path: high-quality post-secondary education and career training, at no cost, ensures that we aren’t leaving any genius on the table, and paid sick and parental leave improves employee productivity and happiness, public health, and the ability of businesses to recruit and retain top talent.” 
The Mayor and Secretary were joined in the morning by Congressman Keith Ellison and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman for a roundtable discussion at UCare, an independent, nonprofit health plan that has seen significant return on investments since adopting paid-leave policies for all of its employees. 
Paid leave is one of the key elements in the Working Families Agenda that Mayor Hodges introduced this past April. Read more here.
The afternoon’s events focused on building a workforce pipeline through President Obama’s initiative to provide free tuition at community and technical colleges and through community and technical colleges’ partnership with local businesses to develop curriculum so students have the training they need to fill jobs in the region.
Mayor Hodges, Secretary Perez, and Congressman Ellison toured Graco Inc., a manufacturer in Minneapolis that is currently collaborating with Minneapolis Community and Technical College. They also met with two former MCTC students who participated in internships with the company and are now employees.
The group then traveled to MCTC for a roundtable discussion with students, local government officials, and representatives from, philanthropic and non-profit organizations, businesses, community colleges and workforce development organizations.
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Published May 27, 2015

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