Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Labor Day: A Promise of Opportunity

To usher in this year's Labor Day, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued his message of Upholding the Promise of Opportunity. For America's workforce reflecting the diversity of its fast-changing demography, his Labor Day statement can provide a glimmer of hope.

Sec. Perez outlines the government's several initiatives by which it is honoring America's workers:
This year, we’re honoring workers by investing more than a $1 billion in job-driven training programs to give Americans the skills employers need. We’re honoring workers by promoting quality apprenticeships that will enable more people to “earn and learn.” We’re honoring workers, at President Obama’s direction, by developing new rules to give more workers access to overtime pay and increase the minimum wage for private-sector workers hired under federal contracts. We’re honoring workers by implementing a new life-saving rule to limit miners’ exposure to coal dust and move us closer to eliminating black lung disease and by taking the next steps toward protecting workers from inhaling high levels of crystalline silica.

In addition, Sec. Perez likewise stresses the need to do more for America's diverse labor force, with raising the minimum wage as one of these.
But as a nation, we can do more to lift workers up, and to ensure that all hardworking people are able to climb ladders of opportunity and reach for the American dream. It’s time to raise the national minimum wage, so that no one working a full-time job has to live in poverty. It’s time to update our workplace policies to reflect the realities of the 21st century labor force and to support modern working families. It’s time to continue our nation’s long commitment to supporting unemployed workers by extending emergency unemployment compensation.

In relation to this, a new initiative has been put up by the U.S. Department of Transportation that seeks to help people with disabilities, especially low-income workers with disabilities and those at opposite ends of the age spectrum. Administered by DOT’s Federal Transit Administration, the Ladders of Opportunity grant program will help make transportation a means, not an obstacle, to employment by creating more and better transit options for those who need it most. Read more about this here:

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