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A thank you to our outgoing Department of Labor leaders

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

SDWP is honored to have the responsibility to carry out this mission throughout our County. We have also had the privilege to work closely with DOL Secretary Tom Perez, Deputy Secretary Chris Lu, and many other wonderful DOL leaders. They will leave DOL this month and transition to a new team. There have been many amazing accomplishments thanks to their leadership.

  • Implemented the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which better aligned core workforce development programs to help approximately 20 million people each year look for work, train for in-demand careers, and connect with local employers.
  • Invested $265 million in grants to build on and expand apprenticeship to new industries like health care, information technology and advanced manufacturing, while also reaching traditionally underserved communities to add 34,000 new apprenticeships.
  • Invested more than $1 billion in grants to address specific, demonstrated workforce needs, including $150 million in “TechHire” to support innovative ways to get workers on the fastest paths to well-paying information technology and high-growth jobs in in-demand sectors like health care, advanced manufacturing and financial services. San Diego was named a TechHire city in December 2016.
  • Awarded approximately $170 million to 23 innovative partnerships to get the long-term unemployed back to work in 21 states.
  • Invested more than $15 million in Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release, or LEAP grants, to 31 partnerships across the country. The promising new approach brings the services offered at some of the nation’s 2,500 American Job Centers with services offered by correctional facilities to help soon-to-be-released inmates transition to working life in their communities. SDWP received two LEAP grants and opened career centers at East Mesa Reentry Facility and at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility.
  • Invested nearly $2 billion in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program to help community colleges partner with employers in their communities to build instructional programs that would meet the workforce needs of a growing economy.

Secretary Perez visited San Diego several times. SDWP CEO Peter Callstrom moderated a Q&A session with Secretary Perez and many community leaders. Discussion centered on topics such as minimum wage, long-term unemployment, skills gaps and how to train a workforce that can compete globally. Secretary Perez also spoke to the San Diego leaders who visited Washington DC as part of the annual Chamber delegation.

Deputy Secretary Lu visited our region in March 2016, and SDWP worked closely with him and his staff on a busy itinerary. He toured San Diego vocational programs, participated in roundtables on veteran and youth employment, visited Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab and toured the newly opened job center located at East Mesa Reentry Facility.

Thank you to Secretary Perez and Deputy Secretary Lu for your leadership, passion and support of workforce development programs. It has been an honor to work alongside you and to advance the critical work of DOL.

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