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State of the American worker

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis
Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis

As we consider the plight of our economy and its effects upon millions of workers in the USA and even around the world, it’s imperative that we hear what our government leaders have to say about the situation. This week, in honor of American workers on Labor Day, the Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis presented The State of the American Worker address. Today, we will look at key statements in her speech, and then dissect and analyze each point this week. In order for us as a nation to correct the downward spiral of the anemic employment epidemic in the USA, we must see and understand what real issues need to be addressed and changed, in order to get our workers back on their feet and our economy flourishing again. It is clear that Secretary Solis is passionate about the American worker and has a desire to put Americans back to work. Unfortunately, one person’s deep desire and efforts are not enough, especially when the solutions presented and implemented do not truly address the real needs that appear to be oblivious to most people, especially those in government positions. As sincere as our government workers may be, Band Aids can never cure cancer. The problems are deeper than most people realize, and we will address these in the coming days in this publication. Now, let’s take a look at Secretary Solis’ statements.

Many of you have told me that you want an America that “produces things again.” You want a nation that is strong, that leads the international marketplace in innovation and a commitment to quality. And you want a government that is responsive, pragmatic and understands your needs. But more than anything else, no matter where I go and who I talk to, you’ve told me “we need jobs.” -

I believe -- and I am committed to -- making training opportunities widely available, so unemployed workers at every level can retool and reenter the workforce. Cutting corners on worker health and safety isn't the answer. Keeping workers safe matters far more than saving a few cents -- it also improves a company's bottom line. And we cannot deny workers a voice. I recognize, respect and celebrate a worker's right to organize and bargain collectively. As individuals, and as a nation, we have very important choices to make, and each one merits careful and informed discussion. Each and every one of us has something at stake, and we simply cannot afford to make the wrong choices.

As we honor the contributions of American workers this Labor Day, there is optimism about the future of our economy. We are a resilient nation, with some of the most driven and dedicated workers on the planet. And, "Good and safe jobs for everyone" is more than a slogan at your U.S. Department of Labor -- it's a deep and sincere commitment that we've made to American workers and their families.

I am not an economist. I believe that numbers only tell you part of the story and I know that the only true replacement for a job lost, is a new job that pays good wages. I'm committed to making that a reality for anyone who wants a job. That's why I'm so excited that this Labor Day we will debut — a new online tool to connect workers with high quality training and local employment. By visiting the site and adding information about your most recent work experience, you can see exactly what skills you need to qualify for a broad range of careers. You can also find local training and education providers and, yes — you can see local job postings.

Secretary Solis seems passionate and devoted to the American workers, and she made some great comments. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced that making a speech is something any great orator can do. Making it happen, is another thing altogether, and something that Americans have been waiting for many years. Tomorrow, we will talk about what it will take to really make these changes. In the mean time, check out the government’s new website that the Secretary mentioned.


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