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Labor Secretary Carries President’s Jobs Message to Imperial Beach

Evening Edition

Above: The Nation's Labor Secretary, Hilary Solis, made a stop in San Diego today. KPBS Business Reporter Erik Anderson says Hilary Solis toured the Job Corps Center in Imperial Beach and promised better times ahead.

Aired 1/27/12 on KPBS News.

U.S. Labor Secretary visited a job-training center today and declared that better times are coming.

The nation's Labor Secretary Diego Hilary Solis toured the San Diego Job Corps Center in Imperial Beach today and promised better times are just ahead.

The Obama Administration's top labor official is out spreading the president's message, which he delivered at this week's State of the Union address, that the job picture is getting better.

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilary Solis talks to students at the San Diego Job Corps Center in Imperial Beach
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Above: U.S. Labor Secretary Hilary Solis talks to students at the San Diego Job Corps Center in Imperial Beach

Solis, a former California congresswoman, toured the vocational-job training campus where construction and manufacturing trades are taught. She said the students training here today will be ready for jobs when the economic recovery takes off. She also said that's starting to happen.

"Yes It is, because in 22 months we've already seen 3.2 million private sector jobs," Solis said. "And it's across the board. It's in manufacturing and housing, it's starting to come back. And we're looking at repairing commercial buildings, so all of these skills that they're learning are applicable to those kinds of sectors."

Students here hope to do it take the skills they've learned and turn them into a $10- or $15-dollar-an-hour entry level job. That job can get even bigger -- $30 to $40 an hour -- as they move up.

"In plumbing we teach them how to install pipes, water, sewer, and gas," said John Gallagher, a plumbing instructor. "We install fixtures, we do underground stuff. Those are the hard skills.

""But there's a lot of soft skills we teach to which are maybe even more important. We teach resumes, application and interviewing skills -- basically how to get and keep a job."

Hundreds of young people pass through the San Diego Jobs Corps programs each year. Many are getting job training and completing their high school educations.

Video by Katie Euphrat

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