In a whirlwind visit to Indianapolis, Thomas Perez, Secretary of Labor, made three stops to emphasize that the economic recovery is taking hold and that the Obama Administration is committed to increasing job opportunities for young people, protecting workers rights and making sure workers receive the pay they’ve earned. The Labor Secretary, who had twice appeared on Afternoons with Amos when he was Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, appeared in an exclusive live interview to tell Indianapolis about his visit. Labor Secretary Perez visited with students and administrators at Pike High School, toured a road construction site improving Indiana’s highway infrastructure and toured and talked with workers at Allison Transmissions. Secretary Perez was accompanied on his tour by Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly and Congressman Andre Carson.
The highlight of the visit occurred at Pike High School, where Secretary Perez saw first hand how an Obama Administration program called Youth Career Connect had helped students receive the skills they need for in demand jobs in Indianapolis and Indiana. The program encourages school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment system and their partners to pull together and integrate rigorous educational standards with work experiences and skills in ways that enhance instruction and deliver real-world learning opportunities for students. In his exclusive Afternoons with Amos interview, Secretary Perez told listeners who excited he was visiting the students at Pike. The Secretary remarked that “people who say that you can’t make it in America have never met Pike High School”. Perez lauded that “Pike High School is a model for the nation.”
Also in the interview, Secretary Perez revealed the facts that under the Obama Administration jobs have grown for fifty-two straight months, the longest continuous job growth in history. Secretary Perez who was with President Barack Obama in Milwaukee on Labor Day reaffirmed the President’s posture of continuing to improve and grow jobs, especially for working persons and families and raise incomes, including the minimum wage for working class Americans. Secretary Perez acknowledged that some the recovery still hadn’t reached everyone, but he told listeners that he’s encouraged by the progress he’s seeing, including here in Indiana.
Secretary Perez said that the Obama Administration had recovered some $5 Billion in wages “stolen” from employees by employers who had not followed the Federal laws involving proper payment for hours worked. The Secretary was pleased that Afternoons with Amos regularly counsels listeners who feel employers have cheated them out of their wages to follow up with the Federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. And the Secretary encouraged listeners and the community to do just that. Click the Media Player to Hear the Full Afternoons with Amos Interview with Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. Runs 9 Minutes. ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.