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tv   Labor Secretary Testifies on Presidents 2023 Budget  CSPAN  May 20, 2022 10:35pm-12:28am EDT

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c-span2 and found a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at click's labor secretary marty walsh says the economy would suffer severe damage of the childcare shortage is not addressed by the secretary testified on president biden's 2023 budget request before a house appropriatis noise mick known on budget
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request for the department of labor. this is a hybrid hearing. we need to address a few housekeeping matters. for the members joining virtually once you start speaking there's a slight delay before your displayed on the main screen. speaking into the microphone activates the camera. do not stop your remarks if you do not immediately see the screen switch. if thesc screen does not change after several seconds please make sure you are not muted. to minimize background noise and ensure the correct speakers being displayed we request your mate on mute unless you have sought recognition. the chair or an individual designated by the chair may mute participant microphone when they are not under recognition to eliminate inadvertent background noise. members who are virtual are responsible for muting and un-
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muting themselves. finally, house rules require me too remind you that we have set up an e-mail address which members can send anything they wish to submit a in writing and any of our hearings. that e-mail address has been provided in advance to your staff. i like technology ranking member tom cole and all forms of the subcommittee or join today hearing both in person and virtually. and i want to say thank you to all the members and witness for your flexibility as we start this hearing earlier than expected to welcome the prime minister of greece waited thisib morning. i would very much like to welcome you secretary first in person hearing of they subcommittee secretary the department of labor you joint virtually last year end happy it is in person today. want to first thank how hard you have fought this past year
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for american workers and working families. i have been difficult for so many especially for working families. far too many people lost their jobs while businesses and restaurants were forced to close but schools were shut down, our childcare infrastructure collapse. the pandemic exasperated what we have known for a longg time. it is not kept up with the cost of living but so many americans readyth struggling ine the pandemic took a massive toll left so many reeling. workers are working paycheck to paycheck for their struggling to pay taxes are too high. big corporations with monopoly prices are pushing a monopoly process and now are facing a war abroad and created an energy and a cost-of-living crisis as well. an economic opportunity remains hard to reach her millington underserved. the r employment rate for black and hispanic workers remains
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considerably harder of the overall population. workers that a college degree face more barriers to employment than collegetit graduates. far too many women have pushed out of the workforce are forced to consider employment over the past two years and sectors that employ predominantly women continue to suffer access to childcare and workplace flexibility returning to the workforce that much harder for mothers. we need to be doing even better for the communities that need us the most but that is really why we were all elected. franklin rooseveltec secretary of labor frances perkins the first woman appointed to the presidential cabinet said and i quote, i came to washingtonot to work for god, fdr, and the millions of forgotten plane comment working men and i would add women. working for the forgotten and w for our workers should be the reason every single one of us is in washington. note mr. secretary that is why you are here. we have a responsibility to protect and lift up our
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workers. so thank you for joiningng us today to discuss the department of labor's budget. we appreciate all you have done and will continue to do to protect the workers and support the in families. the important work of rebuilding our economy began last year. and proud congress passed the first fiscal year 2022 government funding omnibus in march. including 600 to $3 million increase for programs. five under 50 million more for employment, training programs we help workers reenter the workforce, earn better wages improve family economic stability greatly increase funding for registeredom apprenticeships to help americans developing to high skilled trade. in job training programs that help return to the workforce supporting those with significant barriers to client good paying jobs retain skilled workers. 50million dose for
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strengthening community college training grant programs. meeting the demand for skilled workers by providing training and community college. i am proud of this committee was instrumental in creating this program in 2020 and the apprenticeship grants program in 2016 both of which are growing our economy from the bottom up in the middle class. priority of mine for years has been to strengthen worker protection agency. we work closely, proud to work closely dol to most in our division the occupational safety and health administration employee benefit security. we provide a total of $1.8 billion. critical agencies protect against a wage theft and worker classification enhanceat the health and safety of american workers at a time potential workplace hazards threaten millions of us. we support working conditions abroad, we increase the affairsional labor bureau for high-impact
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international assistance that combats of the world's most abusive labor practices. including the use of child labor and forced labor. with funds from the u.s. and a mexico canada agreement the u.s. and ca is making huge strides to enforce the labor provisions of our trade agreements while hoping workers andnd employers in mexico make their workplace safe.s protecting workers always include protecting those who find themselvese unemployed. we are addressing long-standing problems in the dmunemployment compensation system disproportionate harm workers of color, service industry workers, blue-collar workers, but modernizing technology and expanding reemployment services for jobseekers. we include district specific projects funding to support workers in her home district and try to meet the needs including funding for job training, workforce development and apprenticeship program the america competes act workforce while keeping our economy competitive.
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as we begin fiscal year 2023 when he to build on these investments, budget request proposes 14.9 billion, the% increase over 2022. there is a plan to look at workers and their families and how they can access opportunities they need and deserve. to support workforce development the request would w increase investment in state grants for workforce training, apprenticeship grants and other job-training programs. double funding for strengthening community college training grant when they need it most. the budget request also continues our efforts to rebuild the unemployment compensation. to help unemployed workers make ends meet while they look to quickly workforce. supporting our workers maintaining a strong commitment to worker protection. please to see the request of increase of three to $55 million for worker protection o agencies to rebuild
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is not underfunded for decades. we must do even more to support our workers but people keep our nation running. i am proud we were able to support people who keep this body writing. congressional staffers with the bill paving the way for staffers to unionize. this example should reverberate across our nation. more needs to be done but not all in this building but everywhere. workers deserve a fair shot at a good paying job. went to lynn my voice and support to the millions of american workers joining together and unionizing to apply for higher wages and better working conditions. we see successes at amazon, starbucks and other corporations. no better way to see the middle class and to assurebe workers have a seat at the table. that's why i strongly support the bargaining rights and the ability to join the union for
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a better future for themselves and their families. pride safety and opportunity for our workers it makes our country better, pushes our economy c forward. made progress over the past two years but as you know there's so much more to do. those who are working on the vulnerable work hard with the budget request and support for workers will sure we live up to these ideals. and i look forward to working with you into today's discussion with that may recognize ranking member. cracks it's wonderful to have you here. before you get into my prepared remarks by which make three quick observations for this is a big day for our committee. you're going to name this here member after the former chair the longtime chair of the subcommittee that would be a happy moment. i thank you and congratulate
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you for doing that. second, thank the person who got us new chairs up on this podium but if you have not noticed we can get in and out c i don't have the staffers that did it. under your brilliant leadership please give that person a raise. cracks that was wonderful. finally as a housekeeping matter going to have to leave about 945 because rules isn't leading to redo our structure and apologize to mr. secretary's early to madam chair by calling seven depart early that's not the normal pattern for me. but i am particularly pleased mr. secretary to have you here in person and this year's hearing and walking tour want to start by thanking the secretary for traveling to my district recently. she was kind enough to dip my request and visit tinker air force base which is america's largest defense aircraft maintenance depot. at section of the world's
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largest but keeps nation's most national security aircraft and safe operational order long after their normal lifespan. his ivories before the subcommittee are aircraft depots and in fact all of the dod economy at large have high skilled workers to secretaries very helpful and help us get through that problem in helping us come up with ways to begin to address it. so we appreciate that. have a particular need for advanced software developers computer engineers and other cyber professionals.ic i suspect we are not alone for that particular set of skills. but take the time to meet with key leadership the unionon leadership in several workers on site to investigate the issue. i will ask a question on that topic later if time permits. i look forward to working with you mr. secretary. arand your team in the coming months to pursue cooperative solutions along with the air
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force. now turn to the president's budget request for the coming year end must reiterate several concerns. pastor perez and signed the american rescue plan into law without a single republican vo vote. this legislation pumped nearly $2 trillion of new spending into our economy. much of it unneeded and poorly targeted. normally believed that laws of direct cost for the 40 or high inflation we are currently experiencing. gas prices are averaging well over $4 a gallon in grocery stores were up in double digits. taught us we cannot spend our way out of inflation. this year's budget seems to think we can do just that. i respectfullyo disagree. spending double down on those same levels resoundingly rejected by congress in the last budget. this increase environment would irresponsibly act the national debt and further push our economy into a possible recession. in fact, some believe we are
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arty on the course of seeing a recession within the next year. effective find incredibly unfortunate. i believe the worst effects of the president's economic policies could have been avoided if such a sharp partisan approach to spending had not been pursued early in the administration for the fiscal year 2022 appropriations represents a compromise. it did not include more than 17% increase for non-defense agencies requested by the administration. instead we came together and funded joint priorities and a bipartisan manner at reasonable levels. i certainly hope we can do that again for fiscal year 2023. my second concern centers on the lack of support we are showing her employers but unemployment is at an all-time low. 3.6% that is a good thing. in my state of oklahoma we are significantly below the national average of 2.6%. businesses are struggling to
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find workers and worker shortage is exacerbated by the inflationary pressures further pushing our economy into a downward spiral. do not see a workforce policy from the administration reflecting realities of many businesses. recent proposals to quotete unquote modernize force prevailing wage turned back toward definition that's not been used for nearly 40 years. the budget request 20% increase for that wage and hour division print more than 35% increase the office of federal contractors compliance programs the 15% for the occupation and 200 staff or labor enrollment in the department. specifically in your budget which is recite the need for greater enforcement of those participating in the sharing economy. with unemployment at record lows we do not need excessive
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executive overreach stifling innovation and flexibility for both workers and employers. innovation solutions like those found in the sharing economy have allowed millions to fight work when they won tickets andnd help those fine workers went other options were not available. we should be supporting the new forms of them ointment not smothering them with overaggressive rules, regulation and force mcbride do it to commend your support from the apprenticeship. we have seen them flourish in recent years under multiple administrations by think apprenticeships represent an p opportunity and a pathway to high-paying jobs many of which do not require a college degree. however i am disappointed the lack of support i hear from businesses regular about the limiting structure and cumbersome registered apprenticeships. the model is not built for the economy and the opportunities of the day and is not doing enough to support today's worker. it is underutilized by many
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the growing sector of information technology cyber security and supply chain logistics. i think the administration should do more to support intermediaries and alternatives to registered apprenticeships to bring opportunities to these aggressively growing businesses and to american workers. these are just some of the policy differences i am sure we will discuss today. i am hopeful we will work through the shortened budget year and we will be able to once again find the middle ground. i have said before and i'll t say it again we have workedhe together for the past seven years to find spending levels become both support and final appropriations we've been able to do that seven times in a row. i certainly hope to do so again. i was certainly not like to see our seven year streak broken and i don't believe it will be. we will be able to find common ground and get this bill done
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give you a budget within a a reasonable period of times you can go back your important job for another chair does not want to drag this into next year. i don't want todr drag this into next year. we both want to get our d work done on time. i want to thank you again mr. secretary for appearing before us today. i want to thank you in particular for taking the time to come to my district but that's a very generous act on your part. i look forward your testimony and work on our shared priorities. with that madam chair i yield back for a quick thank you gentlemen. mr. secretary full written testimony is going to be entered into the record with that you are recognized for five minutes for your opening statement. none on flex it is great to be in person. can you hear me? last year was my first hearing when i did zoom. it was hard to get into a rhythm here. it's great to be here today.
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i am pleased to outline present biden vice president harasses for the fiscal 2023 fiscal year. secretary of labor is to empower all workers morning, noon and night the front-line workers to carry us through the pandemic in the worst days of the pandemic. face barriers to employment opportunities the veterans who served our nation serve the targeted workforce trading programs the department of labor stands with p all workers in every community and more inclusive economy. part of the department of labor what we've accomplished this past year. the american rescue plan that plan was really important to the opening up of our economy fruit supporting healthcare workers supporting pensions, supporting unemployment insurance in our country, protecting workers from covid-19 and heat exposure
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rate strengthening retirement security and access to mental health services we need to do more of in this country. we expand to create training process connect more americans are more opportunities and connect to more industries to skilled workers. implemented the presence $15 hour minimum wage for federal contractors to people in this country earning $7 an hour trying to raise a family that is impossible. we have legislation to stop surprised billing medical billing and protections for tip workers that share the advancement 2018. the supports organizers rights time an action and structured implementation. in all of our work we are committed to equity for the most vulnerable workers in all of our communities across america. we have come in this moment a unique opportunity to help workers. the president's plan produce historic jobrs driven recovery. congress does meet the transformative investment in
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workers to thec bipartisan info structure at law ander other actions congress have taken. in the department of labor the good jobs initiative the apartment across government to make sure these investments create good jobs and access for all people. i'm committed to supporting congressional efforts to invest inn workforce training, childcare, education, health care that working families need and depend on in this, country and every single community in our neighborhoods and our country. this 202010 budget submission builds on these investments reduce our pledge to serve workers, jobseekers and retirees in america. the workforce of elma budget request 3a and $3 million to expand apprenticeship program improvement programsms that work that help people get bettert jobs and get into good industry. $100million for college partnerships with employers and i have been to about ten community colleges in the last few months were to go around to talk about the importance of investments in every community. $100million for career training growing industry
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sector such as tinker air force base but was there last week we talked about the challenge the air force has with competing with the private sector and getting good paying jobsfo into those areas. these are powerful tools for connecting diverse workers are skilled opportunities they meet critical supply chains in our economy. for example the administration is working urgently to ensure infant formula is safe and available for families all across our country. while this work is led by the fda, our work is to increase the qualified truck drivers on the road to address the issues that many others have not over the long-term. we are going to continue to do that but it's critical to provide good careers of workers people of color, women and rural america veterans opportunities to get into this good paying jobs. the budget increase funding for veterans their veterans employment training serviceor agency. it increases funding for our women's to access for women to careers where they are
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underrepresented. the budget invest two-point to billion dollars in the departments workerer protection agency heard this work is more essential now than ever if we norebuild the staffing levels.s. that includes osha's effort to double down the number of inspectors by the end of the president's first term. it will restore capacity for enforcement and find plant equipment reviews. it would restore staffing and employment benefits security administration to protect workers health, retirement disability benefits for it to increase funding for a wage and hour division to safeguard the wages of vulnerable workers. offer office of federal compliance programs to assure federal contracting advance america's promise to all workers in this country. the budget increases funding to the office of labor solicitor rebuilding the entire department capacity to enforce the laws. were also requesting resources for the bureau of international labor affairs. ensures our training partners uphold their labor commitments.
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our trading partners excuse me pulled their labor commitments american workers can compete on a level playing field. this budget fully funds ands updates the state funding formula for unemployment insurance. this to be thee' first comprehensive update in decades. it allows states to serve claimants more efficiently and our present was one or $50 million to strengthen the integrity off the system. every single one of your states has had a problem over the past two years for unemployment insurance. finally the budget request formally support good jobs initiative this enables us to dance the presidents priority of good jobs with the free and fair choice to join the union. labor secretary of travel across this nation. committed workers and employers and better understand the needs of people and communities in this country. despite all they have been there, workers are showing up each and every day to move our communities forward. in return we must do all weekend to ensure their well-being and empower them with opportunity.
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i want to thank you once again for the opportunity to testifyha to you in person today for a look forward tood discussing our budget request with the committee. any questions that i can't answer, will work with you and our teams to make sure you get the answers to you. by the end of today hopefully depending on how early we get out. affect >> are not at risk. thank you. mr. secretary along with my
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colleagues, we introduce the way to recovery act legislation to the hard earnedwa wages back in their pockets every day employers do cheat out of legally owed wages they violate over time and minimum wage and tip work rights had disproportionately harms low-wage workers amplifying poverty to make the enforcement work at the divisional more critical. how can you proactively stop bad actors from withholding hard earned wages how does that prioritize efforts to ensure we are not stealing wages from the most valuable workers? >> and to ensure that this is
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moved through. wage theft and wage recovery act with the fundamental protections to allow workers the full compensation they have earned and crackdown on corporations we have to do everything we can in our power of the hard earned wages. certainly at the department of labor : somebody does her job they expect to get the wages we spent a lot of time going around the country talking to workers that quite honestly have been taken advantage of because they have no power to support themselves to fight for back wages anyone that goes to work every day should be paid for every single minute that they work in this will help to ensure illegal practices disproportionately hurting low income workers are overturned and we have to protect all workers in this country. that is something that is
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important also we have to continue to support 35 percent of wage earners and tip workers that they are not taken advantage of they service food and coffee and clean the tables and it is appalling to think in 2022 there are people taken advantage of. mostly low income workers, workers of color and women. will look forward to working with you in congress to pass the law i hope it is a bipartisan effort because it's happening on both sides of the aisle. >> since the passage of usmca including $210 million from this committee so there had been great progress made talk
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about intra- goal to support the first independent union elections of general motors so in april the department announced $28 million to combat forced labor and human trafficking to negotiate the collective-bargaining agreements that would way raise wages and improvet conditions in mexico how do you support critical monitoring of usmca as we continue to make progress in mexico and one other areas of the world can we focus on in american businesses and then to talk about what's happening on the ground and to feel really good we hired for labor
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attaches. and she felt positive and certainly i support i w lab and all the efforts to make sure wherever we are in the road whatever work we are doing that we are being together. also looking at child labor and how that impacts labor negotiations all across the world. i know my time is over but for the first time we've seen an increase of child labor abuses in this world. >> i hope you keep in touch with that issue. we can lead in the effort and with that enforce labor.
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we may not eliminate it but to do all that we can. and now i t recognize the ranking member. and then to increase funding of the administrations of both parties. but with a modest increase in the number of folks that are actively registered. what sort of things can we do? we know that this is a good pathway to a great job and the skill sets that our economy need. that we can attracts more people. >> first and foremost we have to let of the opportunities. we are doing withis the department of labor to expand the program similar to the
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gold standard and looking other areas how we do that. the matter of 48 hours we have over 100 companies right now working on the apprenticeship program in the trucking industry. 400 have signed up we been able to turn that around. not to bring it up but i started to think about opportunities for apprenticeships working with community colleges. there is a need over the next year or 3000 engineers. 1500 engineers from local colleges in oklahoma and 1500 other opportunities. they are competing at the private sector creating an apprenticeship program to hire people to come in with
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on-the-job training with schools and universities over a short period of time understanding how the base works not just engineering but high-tech or biotech anynk agency to create a program the private sector has to work with us but i think it has to be a private sector investment that's the best way it has to be.hi we signed mo you with austria one month ago to talk about austria and switzerland have aro robust apprenticeship program. we are not there yet is a country because people are resistant and they have to understand this is not a program just a sake of creating a program but it is a
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process to educate people how to go to work. >> go ahead. you mentioned in your remarks some of the modernization efforts and i recognize we are coming out with the difficult period where those are constrained more than anybody envisioned. going through pandemic and to have slowdowns or shutdowns you have to give people and alternative. so to have quite a few reports about fraud putting this much money into the system that will happen and it cannot handle it so i am interested in going forward what are the specific things you would help
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those protections in terms of fraud going forward that you would highlight quick. >> congress made the appropriation last year i'm not sure how many states or territories are involved. we have 49 states that are engaged in the process. we put teams to identify challenges in different states and to identify working with them to make investments to make sure weug fix the challenges. think the unemployment system at the federal level to bring the systems of 21st century standards. many are working in the eighties and nineties and the infrastructure isn't there but but the unemployment insurance office we are workingng to make sure we have $2 billion investment that every single penny goes towards modernizing and fixing the challenges.
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pre- pandemic the fraud numbers are low post pandemic they were high and i am expecting those numbers to come back down. i don't expect them to go away. we are working with states right now to take that $2 billion that congress gave us. strong the powerful but mighty team the same that could distribute the money from the cares package and the american rescue plan that congress supported. >> my time hasas run out now i have to leave. i regret that but thank you for the job that you did.
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>> talk about child abuse in the workforce i just want to point out we are guilty of child abuse particular those in agriculture the only ones not protected under labor laws. as a result children die at much higher rates than children of any other industry not to mention the impact it has under education and also on injuries and i do do went to think thenk officer helping me put together in providing me with information have
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introduce 73 bill with farm safety of 2022 intended to address this issue. and those exemptions for family farms. i just want to bring that up to the subcommittee it is a dirty little secret about these children. i am a cochair of the nursing caucus. i am very concerned nurses and other healthcare workers have experienced high rates of infection and death from covid-19. violenceorkplace during the pandemic this is
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due to the fact there is a failure of healthcare employers with any kind of workplace violence prevention with a failure to act osha has for many years said they were in the process of writing a proposed rule of workplace violence in healthcare settings. congress has tried to correct that the pass a couple of bills. but it seems that osha has yet to find rules to protect these healthcare workers can you please explain osha has been
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able to put a rule to protect healthcare workers and hopefully can we expect somethingg this year quick. >> thank you for raising this important issue. i look forward to working with you on legislation. i know that in the last year and a half osha has been full out working hard dealing with covid and workplace violence is one of the issues we have to workon on. and those to be significantly understaffed so as we staff up osha i promise you right now to make this a priority we have conversations with a group of nurses in my office last week one of the issues
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they brought up was workplace violence that just around other professions as well as give youou my commitment. >> i yield back. >> back in march with those h2 b visa we talked extensively about and then to look whether adequate protection exist against abuse of the system were you satisfied are there ways you can improve to make sure we get the workers but the employers don't abuse the system quick. >> there's always w we can protection experience and to get the allotment of 35000 thank you for meeting with me
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for those in the congress and on the podium the system change in 2014 congress used to a lot we didn't have to do this additional every singlee year twice a year. nobody knows a better system than having to do this as you do the h2 we want to make sure workers are brought to work in tough industries with the protections that they deserve so i feel confident working longer-term that they have good protections. >> if you find areas where you can tie in it up and protect the workers the employers i work with to follow the rules and those who don't should not. that simple but thank you for your help hopefully we can get back to the old system of
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returning workers or something twice a year. the other issue to bring up is how we are constructing offshore wind because there is a push also a visa system involved with the b1 visa outer continental shelf which we give to ships who will give the construction and they bring in the labor i was a little surprise the nordic countries shifts then they hire workers because nordic countries are competitive in salary and higher other eastern europeans but they pay much less we are losing american jobs the way the visa system works if you can look into how that works let us
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know if therere are ways to get those jobs to be done by americans. i thinknk the system by allowing the countries but higher other countries workers at a low cost do you have any knowledge about that as it is a growing industry quick. >> the work is on the shore. if you get to the rigging companies will say the workers a are not trained we can scale up the workers pretty quickly to do this work it is an ongoing conversation i'm not familiar with the visa but i will look into that we will make sure we w have good training programs to do that work is just a new technology and for the most part it's a
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brand-newal energy but now we start to see the fruits of construction after a short period of time. >> and that was the restaurant industry they still have concern over minimum wage that would include tip wage workers. the fact of the matter is tip wage workers whose wages less than the employer have to earn minimum wage when you add in the tips. any effortan to expand minimum wage it doesn't take into account tipped wage hurts the restaurants. many small businesses. we will bring you to a mom and pop place.
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that has real concerns. and then to price them out of the market. >> we can talk more about what we have seen in the restaurant hospitality industry is an increase in wages and most of the restaurants i have spoken to have concerns but i will get back to you on that. >> . >> . >> . >> thank you for your incredible work since you have been in your position want to thank you for your focus on
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women in the workplace at the height of the pandemic two.5 million women left the workforce 1 million fewer women today than in february 2020. we know who these women are. low income, essential workers they care for our children and parents and seniors and disabled family members. primarily black and brown and indigenous and rural women and moms there is a price to be paid for being a mom so your secretary find yourself at the intersection of another crisis that we have for women in this country and that we are about to see roe vs wade overturned
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and in many states moving to mandate and to have government mandated pregnancies. as we are looking at who is most impacted at the post pandemic economy and who is most impacted with the pandemic not looking at women are the economic forces these are the exact same women, low income moms who are most likely to seek abortion care. so in this new world we are entering, some of the work you have done ish around childcare which is absolutely necessary a recent gao report that i requested found only 11 percent of all workers have access to employer-provided childcare.
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united states isy way behind. tell me a little bit about the impact you will see to have women have jobs to provide for their families if we do not do something about childcare. >> thank you madame chair. if we don't do something as a country about childcare we will do severe damage to the economy. if wek don't get women back into the workforce and we see high levels of unemployment will impact the economy and number two it will impact our family structure. and in legislation that has filed in front of congress but
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that is an issue again it is not a a partisan issue it's bipartisan. but the cost of childcare the availability of childcare not just high quality childcare but those that work in the industry are predominantly women and womenwo of color underpaid making minimum wage look at the numbers across the board with the pandemic what has taught us we have deficits in our economy. certainly in the biggest clearing spotlight is on women and not just childcare 51 percent of women believe in the family but yet we don't respect those facts so working on how we strengthen the child care system it's time to make a major investment in
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childcare. that's the best i can say right now. >> so the most recent we can find is 2018 to show one out of four moms had to return to work within ten days of giving birth. we are the only wealthy country that doesn't have national paid leave which is a disgrace. can you tell me are you considering about updating that information to give newrm insights?ns >> the latest date we have is 2020 not from 20202018. but then so we can actually see up close and personal
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spent thank you madame chair. >> mr. secretary, good morning congratulations to your boston celtics the secretary and i lhave different views so we wish you well also taking the time to face it with the administration with fundamental strongro differences we both want the a best for the american worse worker. thank you for two talking to these difficult issues.
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and then to commend the department to open the ombudsman position to oversee the energy with the compensation program. this is an issue particular importance to my issue and constituents in the oak ridge area. many employers and contractors e and subcontractors and those that have other highly toxic substances leaving them with chronic illnesses. so what is the administration's timeline and then to fill the on this men position? what about the new ombudsman quick. >> thank you for the question. we are looking at a timeline. and i look forward to
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obviously looking in this area to make sure people are getting the proper attention they deserve. >> we are receiving a lot of calls from constituents. so is the administration expanding the ee oic program to include training as a covid quick. >> we have a conversation with my office and get back to you. i'm not prepared to answer this question that this particular second. >> it covers a specific class of worker. but they were exposed in that capacity't. >> i don't see the obstacles but before i commit i want to
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have a conversation. >> understood the advisory board on toxic substances requesting a support contract or three years ago is my understanding in the procurement process is this a normal timeline when do you expect the process to be complete quick. >> it doesn't sound like the timeline of three years but i have to go back and check to do more research was not prepares i will get back to you and your office right after the hearing. >> understood i know you have other hearings coming up so thank you and i yield back. >> thank you madame chair and thank you for being here. in your testimony and to be
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authentic as it relates to black women and we know that black women as in your testimony right now thehe unemployment rate is 5 percent by race and ethnicity is headed in the right direction but it was very concerning i know black women has been disproportionately impacted during covid but what in the world are you able to do to address it? and with regard to your commitment to racial equity, thank you for being very clear in your testimony about what the issues are around racial equity. and you mentioned often times
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black women with the intersection of racism and sexism there is a more difficult recovery and also how they are treated differently. in terms of the executive order calling to equity throughout the federal government how do you address equity with african-american women in the unemployment rate? and then you talk about to embed equity into how you improve so how do you embed that? so their systems you have tobe dismantle before you can do anything. and in terms of black women and strategies that they are treated properly first of all. >> thank you congressman.
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you talk about it and don't run away from it. it's no surprise unemployment is 5 percent and you cannot say unfortunately because of the pandemic the pre- pandemic there is a challenge in the black community as a whole those that have doubled has been historic forever and some of the things we can do is i work for the bipartisan architecture we have an obligation to make sure we have an equitable recovery and those investments that people of color have an opportunity to have access to those good paying jobs. >> and in many parts of the
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country people work on these projects and being paid lower rates that's an opportunity to put wages up for people we pass a 15 million-dollar on —- 15-dollar minimum wage. we have to lift that wage it's across the 1 government. asking all of us that everything we do. my women's bureau it is focused on creating opportunities and pathways as well. this is the action we are taking and we have a long way to go but we have to measure the data don't look at the
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data it doesn't tell the truth. >> we don't have the data. and those investments we see in ape short period of time. >> and to work on the infrastructure project historically and the only type of programs you can apply racial equity and gender equity to federally funded programs. so you make sure the black and brown people are on the infrastructure project. and to make sure they do that.
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and doing it as the building trades in boston we don't need to stick with those affirmative-action programs were well beyond in my up opinion we should do this is the nature of business in this country. with the building trades around the infrastructure but private construction as well to get more opportunities into the trade. we need to make sure when we create them with its trucking or other industries to make sure they are diversified as
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well. >> thank you mr. secretary. it's been helpful to say here. not all secretaries do to be honest. and your willingness to work with all of us in the unemployment fraud was making sure you are aware the department of justice issued a press release a nigerian citizen pled guilty in washington state they were to submit and then to put thoseio
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fraud claims there was $163 billion a benefits that could have been paid improperly. and she was not doing a very good job. how much have you been able to recover? >> but i meet monthly were going after any fraudulent cases $50000 and above. a lot of these cases are in court it's going to the court process. and we work very closely with the justice department. i will get you the money
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that's recovered but also on the hook. >> that would be great. representative clark spoke about the child care workforce shortages. this is what i've been working on and they completely disappeared during the pandemic and it was already an issue. and ian just want a commitment toen you that the department will commit to helpel us build this pipeline for child care workers as we address the's shortages because we have opportunity for moms m and others. >> you have my commitment on that. it is a very challenging
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career. and then we lose that infrastructure. semi are bipartisan some are bicameral. some of it is training or to make sure some of it is physical brick-and-mortar that families can afford it there are a few different bills bipartisan and bicameral spent the child care industry was destroyed and to fund them for the first six months of covid but then they went back to the old structure so they were night getting the money so they went out of business.
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>> . >> m project labor agreements i think it's important that you understand the pla is welcome news for all workers. but that's not what i'm hearing from the 87 percent of non- union workers. so my challenge is they limit the pool of qualified bidders to one stream and that has impact not just for taxpayers but for people who are working. the unionization rate is relatively high at 18 percent. washington is not exactly a red state.
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not anti- union. family members who work in the trades that are a part of unions. that is not mywo issue but i am pro- worker and pro- competition. t>> and that project labor is $35 million and above 87 percent of contractors to apply from the beginning talk about construction projects with pro those signature he contracts and then to prove it savess taxpayers money.
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and that job done on time and on budget doesn't have work stoppages what i have been involved with with building trades often times those projects come in under budget and on time. >> m overtime. [laughter] and with your knowledge and passion is very much appreciated. serving alongside as the base chair of the white house tech for task force and those with
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grenada efforts and with the nlrb.e. what resources do you and other agencies like the nlrb. to fully implement those recommendations from the task force. >>ti it is the first follow-up and have the exact number at is the reality of the odsituation. but let me have a meeting today and after i have a chance than i can come back to you. >> . >> i found it very exciting.
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>> and with the labor background with theiz traditional organizing path so with trader joe's and amazon and those that have not seen it before the raven software about those other unionbusting tactics one of the recommendations of that report is to update the rules can you explain how an update will help to protect and empower workers and what resources do you need to make that update quick. >> i cannot get too much into it with the rulemaking process right now. but talking to workers who are disgruntled.
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and last month four.7 million peopleey just a little off-topic the job training. we have to do that for the economy we cannot continue and economy. meant to earn more many with access to better paying jobs. and that's why we see this organizing conversation going on. and werk have to work closely with commerce as well and to get that additional pushback
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whether amazon or starbucks anything you can do in that area. and those that are smaller bargaining units and the bls only stop strikes in worker stoppages over 1000 workers we have to change the way they track this activity. so to have additional resources quick. >> i have not part of it that way since you brought it up. i'm assuming if we don't track it they need additional resources for that information. that's a good point i had not thought of that. >> i appreciate that.
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>> i want to raise some issues and the complained one —- thed concerns wondering what ideas you have it defies logic to me. by discriminating by working on projects and that competition would encourage more. so what are your plans to help lower inflation that's a great question and inflation that we sawfo last week to go up three
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tenths of a percentage point in one of the things we can do is work on the supply chain issue. that has caused part of the problem to get those services to ourselves and to the stores and into people's homes i worked really hard over the last statements to think about making sure we are doing everything we can to get the ship offshore and also to monitor very closely with negotiation right now and with the carriers and with the longshoreman to make sure to have a shortage. i feel pretty comfortable where we are in a situation today.
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we had a conversation of the ports and 27 ships offshore. and then the previous month before that with 67 ships so we see that. my concern with the manufacturing facilities we brought 100 ships waiting to be reloaded and to have a system in place. >> i appreciate the updates to the ports. there is a real need for more truck drivers. that the court chose not to implement that are you continuing to pursue that?
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and there was a big concern in canada but i do feel some of the administration policies are contributing to an environment where people have to choose between getting a vaccine and doing their job and it is discouraging people in the workplace. are you rethinking that are still pursuing that quick. >>cy it was not a mandate but a vaccine or testing. and for the most part and to discourage one person with the independent trucking industry
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and those who drive their own rigs and to undercut along the way. with the department of laborng to shorten the time to get into the apprenticeship 248 hours we have over 100 companies right now that sign up with the department of labor that have apprenticeships. truck drivers thousands of truck drivers in the system. we are working with everybody who is interested. and then to feel confident as we move forward will meet those challenges 70000 and cdl veterans coming out of the service to have an opportunity.
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>> . >> thank you mr. secretary. >> thank young for being here. i know you are sincere about the equitable economy. so if we a ban abortions across the country looks like we are about to in 2016th there will not be the equitable economy for women if they are not allowed to make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives t in the futures. you have to comment on that. had toal say that. florida, when covid hit and
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unemployment assistance with unemployment assistance is there any way we can help states like florida? and if we can force them to make the system better but it is designed in a way so people cannot get unemployment because one of the governors did not believe in unemployment. >> i'm asking florida specificallyno and then to get the local and state government to help people and necessary. and then we been able to assess and then to implementid
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changes in florida. and then the florida unemployment office. and then to increase benefits and how they institute a program but what we can do isix to make recommendations and there was a real move at one point to make social security administration a federal program where we set the benefit across the board but they decided to make it a state program. we administer and they do it. in this particular moment. >> what is the relationship
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between immigration women to create more good jobs that can be there could be more labor shortage. i talked to every business and republicans and democrats and then to say we need immigration reform. we need more workers in this country. that depends on immigrant workers we always have.
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in a country if we continue to forward we can figure out immigration laws not all age to be visa. not those. we need real immigration reform. those are some of the challenges. i know i'm speaking to congress.. i will be completely honest and it is unfortunate. talk to your employers in any district. >> . >> and talking about inflation the president has been unfairly blamed but one of the analysis has to do with supply and demand and demand for services. can you commentn on that quick. >> the president is taking for
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inflation and obviously he has big broad shoulders are he can take it but there are challenges why we're in this ileconomy my people quit their job because of covid and why hospitals are overburdened and we are seeing those it has caused a loton of concern but we cannot just blame covid. and work on supply chain issues this is all of government. we have to address thess inflation issue. >> thank you. >> talk about the late labor
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shortage i can't and understand why the it is not supporting with those apprenticeship programs. and so even without federal funding programs are expanding valuable opportunities to those that are rapidly changing. and those in the industry driven programs that's the best way to do it that we can go across we don't need to disconnect without duplicate
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program and they were created and f invented a few years ago we have an apprenticeship program. 32% of participants have training and majority didn't we leave they would help them findt
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>> ivthey were less likely to obtain benefits. they were more likelyo to be on food stamps than those of minimal services. national job score study founddy s federal programs are out of touch with employdi years and hh demand occupations. bureaucrats can never know they need employers themselves. these industry apprenticeships are much more responsive from the federal government run. it's better for the economy you are talking about. you'd like to address the supply chain. >> thank you, first and
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foremost. i agree with you. i had ave conversation with many members about job corp and straightening jobn corp. i askd them to partner with us because the mayor and local authority is part of the process. independent entities around then country and there isy a opportunity.he you have 37,000 going to job corp. i'd like to straighten that with the caucus. you will see budget requests for job corp. i wouldn't necessarily say, i'm not sure if it's an apprenticeship. they have not been as successful as they need to be. what i have tried too do at the department of labor is change
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the way we investments. b we have the flex ability. in'tn' didn't have the training program. when it comes to me i must followow the parameters of congress. it's not just, no strings aattached investments i'd like more of. >> they address varying degree of needd and state. >> depending on the grant. the challengers and employees spend a lot of time. if you ask them i'd probably be democratic secretary of labor. someus of my predecessors. i do that because it's important. again, that's what they need in far as how they move forward.
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apprenticeships have a program built by the business community to help theus need they have and they c can make the right the situation ticker and that -- i said this to the commanding officer. there is no point of me creating a program in the department of labor. >> you can cut the things and the industry more control. one of the states. >> i'll ask you about transparency in the nextt round of questions. >> ms. watson colman. >> thank you very much. thank you mr. secretary for
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being here. first of all, i agree with your assessment of things and our need to ensure there is better inclusion and better jobs. we work to put our resources in those that are represented and they have access to good training and goodes job. what i'm not clear on is how you intend to accomplish some of these things. the unemployment ratehi is very low. can you tell mee what it is really fast. >> >> in black women? 5%. >> for black men? >> i think it's probably in -- i don't have that number in front of me it's in the 6s. s >> is there an employee shortage because we didn't have enough people to work or because we have a significant amount of
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people, particularly in the black community that can't work for t a reason either training r child care or whatever? >> i think the answer is for both reasons. a lotnt of folks in the black community and community of color and right now are sidelined working in jobs they didn't earn a living wage and through work force programs we can quickly get people trained to get belter baying jobs in better industries. >> i agree. how will we accomplish that. what's your department going to tont get more women and minorits into the training programs for a good marketable job. we reach andng engage them. >> we do that through investments and work force
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development grant. we are a reauthorization grant. congress is voting on that today.g what are the mechanisms to get a better program and better involvement with this specifically. what is it you are proposing to do that will manifest the idea that you have, these new investments. >> i'd like more discretion with the investments in the grants. >> i'd like to do what i'd like to do to investment we have to worko with and need to work with state and city work force around the country. we put the grants through them and they get the programs.
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the second thing iss continuing to meet with employers where they are at. we understand the challenges they have and create direct programs. the larger employers in the unions. t they have a unique tent to open doors and allow people in the them. we have to, i wouldn't say reinvent the project but do surgely per size investments into the communities. >> let me ask two quick questions. do you have enough staff that monitor what is happening. you you need to monday staff. >> i need more staff. we c are understaffed at the department of labor.t we are understaffed in a lot of differentdi places. the american rescue plan helped us. this is in all of our office. >> i i'm very concerned about
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the reentry of program and opportunity for returning citizens if it's youth that are fertile for new training and the older folks that need to be retrained and redirected and supported. i wonder in their time to get jobs what specifically are you looking to do to work with that population, which is coming back to our community. >> first and foremost they have several proposals that focus on disadvantage communities and the presence is also focused on reentry and opportunity. listen, there are a lot of people in the prison sentence that are not counted as potential and future workers. if we have the right training program and meet people where they c are at.
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i rarely seen someone incarcerated coming out and getting zoooo a job training program. they didn't reoffend or go back to jail. i have seen it up-close and personal. we have he a unique opportunity right now in our country. we also have job course in american job centers inside prisons in america. we are working to help train workers with real training and not fake training and giving them some type of certificate. that's the answer to the future. how to connect folks with job training tool a real job. >> thank you, i think it's quality and it's available and it's very p important and the kd of staff. let me be a partner. thank you, thank m you, madam chair. >> thank s you. >> thank you councilman.
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>> thank you so much for hosting today's hearing and thank you secretary walsh for being hear. we have an affordability in our community. it's coming p down to those who find jobs. we spent a lot of times to talk to employers on what you did and do.. i hear a lot about how hard it is and locally how much of a labor shortage they struggle with s everyday. at the same time i spent a lot of time talking to students right out of high school and communityut college. they tell me how much challenges they have. more than 75% of youth in the area express concerns. if they have the skills necessary to secure a job. this disconnect. i think represents a huge policy failure. to do a better job helping the next generation develop the skills they need for the jobs. that in communities are
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like-minded a and they are programs that are some what helpfull and work force training.. it's not enough. so many young people left behind and overlooked by the programs. also to a real crisis to employers asor well. i know the president budget request had a proposal for a new program. i'd love to hear about this program and envisioned this and address thehe current gap in the work force. what else can we do to request the disconnect. >> thank you, congressman. first and y foremost, i think we havean a big opportunity here wh young people in america tome really create them and get them opportunities into innovative careers and your district is part of that. for many years we have t been
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focused on pushing kids into a four year collegeki system. we have an amazing community college system in our country that allows people to work and get grant processies. processees. nay know they didn't want to work d at a fast food restaurant and make ten dollars per hour or sa dollars per hour. they want better than that. a lotot of the investments like youth bills or job corp. we have to create better passage and meet them where they are att and really figure out how to movend forward. i think we have to be strategic. it's a opportunity. we saw two months ago in the jobs numbers one of the biggest gains was young people that had less than a a high school diploa
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in the last 25 years. we have seen people look for opportunities. we need to help them and put them on a pathway to some type of career they are interested in. they are not sure what they want andat it's key for that generation. >> absolutely. thank you for that. i couldn't agree more. more than four out of five adults. the onlynl middle-class is leavg a lot l of people out. this disconnect does feel to be more impactful than others. with the department of labor. high levels of unemployment and the national unemployment rate. awarding to competitive grants. i'm worried with the program that's fairly small that it might not be going to the places that actually came up.
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>> i'd love to work with you on some of the grant programs are great. we can't do that. we have funds we can build the programsms in rural america and might not get the proper attention they a need. i'd love to work with your office on that. >> thank you so much. i lookh. forward to that. an area with high unemployment a few hours away from those with low unemployment. we want to make sure they go where they are needed. thank youre for being here and i yield back my time. >> congresswoman lawrence. >> thank you so much madam chair. thank you for being here secretary. i you had the amazing opportunity to tour the new factory. we saw, there were more robots than people. well, in the past, it was filled with hundreds of employees that
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were working everyday. as new technology progress we nowed need more technicians and more computer programmers than we did extreme workers. my question is about upscaling, upscaling. there are some al people, especially in the auto industry that have given almost 20 years there their y live being effecte appeared knowledgeability of an signal worker. can you explain how the department can use programs that are dislocated worker program. they can help retrain workers. i know they were talking about closing a plant, shutting it down, laying off everyone so they could retool it for new technology that included the robots that would do the work
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people would do. some people lost their jobs during thehe pandemic as we kno. how can we continue to invest in our work force where we are not discounting hundreds of people who by no fault of their own are now displaced or unemployed? >> thank you very much congresswoman. let me just say in talking and hearing every question asked of me today.ue every question was in someways geared towards the future towards bank of america. in the challenges with immigrations or visas or work force development. i think as a government we have a unique opportunity at this moment of time to makin' vest -- make investments in workers like they have never seen.
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young workers not going to college and job training. when i think about a dislocated worker investment or what have you it comes down to job training. when in that factory at the gm facility. aea woman was 14 years on-the-jb and a uaw member. she would get dirty everyday because of wrenches and lug nuts. she's a technique and retrained sass a technician to work in the factory and continue her career. there is no question we need to do a better job of creating opportunities and pathways to apprenticeshiprt programs or job training programs or folks in job corp or women of color. we have a unique opportunity at this moment and time in this committee and the i appropriatis
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you will give us through the president's budget. i'll do everything i can, as longth as i'm secretary of labor to make sure the investments are different. i want to makes a difference in peoples lives if it's urbaner america, rule america, downtown washington d.c. i t want people to say we did great things and build the work force of the future so people can raise a family and be proud of who they are. i'd be proud. that's, we do have a unique opportunity at this time. >> what i wasas looking for is understanding the opportunity that it's overlooked. we embrace new technology and we need it for so many reason efficiency andso advancing technology and to deal with the
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assignment issues. we can't turn our backs on those people who will be dislocated. last concern i'd like to talk to you about our community colleget investment. oftentimes, not just the community college but private companies do the training and it's been broughtd up before they just have the certificate but not a job. so many employers say they need certainhe things. how can we match our federal dollars thatfe we pay get people certified will equate to themd, being hired? it's a gap there that's flustered to no end. >> i think we have to work strongly with the community college system. the grant coptition for our schools will award $45 million to 15 different community
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colleges. i have been to several. thomas nelson in virginia. this is the west way we can help them and work with the legislatures. a lot of their money comes from the state. we need to straighten and make sure we support the community. that's the best networking we have in the country really with job training and work force development. we have one in every district n the country. some have more than one. we have a opportunity to straightenea the policies. working with the businessom community and also working with
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community colleges. >> good, the county ability of skills with jobs is something i feel is a very high standard for you and congress. thank you so much. i yield back. thank you, i'd like to ask congressman harris to close and we are looking at an 11:00 greek prime minister. s i'll be brief and ask you to be brief. i willk madam chair. thank you very much. mr. secretary, it's good to see you again. as ao facility member i should enjoy the other two parts of the jurisdiction. i enjoy your visitju the most of all. you really do want to. i love your en enthusiasm. temporariry and foreign
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workers. that is the way we solve some of the crime crisis. there is no question about it. legal immigration. we won'tou do anything about it. this is an important source of the work force and shame on congress for not recognizing that. >> we won't a degree on everything. members on myth side. we need to enjoy working with you. we haveyo a can do attitude keeping american workers first. i appreciate that and yield back madam chair. >> thank you, i think you summed it up about the future of work and american work force. i don't think it could be said more eloquently. you are reading francis perkens in my view. i'd like to thank you for
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speaking to me when i was out. i was back here in terms of what you want to do. your point is we have the abilityre to have investments tt haven't been made over the years. that's's what is critical. working men and women have for a long timee felt they have been n their own and they have the kind of support you need from government. they are helpful t with job training and wages or if are being a stolen from them or if they place of work is not an environment where they can they had tough times in the last two years. you said it in your closing and in your testimony. despite allit we have been throh workers show up everyday to help meet the t moment.
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we have the responsibility to meet thisil moment and help youo reach that moment and committed to do thing that. thank you for what you are doing and your support of america. >> thank you very much. >> thank you.
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