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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Middle Class Task Force Manufacturing Meeting
Washington, DC
December 16, 2009

Good afternoon.

Thank you Secretary Locke for that introduction.

I am honored to be here today with my fellow members of the White House Middle Class Task Force to reaffirm the Obama Administration's commitment to a strong manufacturing sector as a vital part of both the American economy and the rebuilding of the American middle class.

We are making investments in our workforce, in our infrastructure, and in basic research and development to lay the foundation for a renewal of American manufacturing.

As the Secretary of Labor I'm working to ensure that all Americans have access to good jobs…..including the next generation of manufacturing jobs.

Over the next few months we will continue to roll out $500 million in green jobs training grants from the Recovery Act, paving the way for America to become a leader in the manufacture of green and innovative products. Now is the time for America to seize the opportunity of a clean energy economy.

These investments will help American workers regain their footing and put them on a path towards the middle class with sustainable careers.

That's why our focus on manufacturing is so important — because it's about helping the middle class.

Our Vice President understands this.

The last time we were together he said, "A strong middle class equals a strong America. You can't have one without the other." And I couldn't agree more.

We've done a lot of good work so far with the Task Force, and I'm delighted that the Vice President is willing to kick off this important conversation about renewing American manufacturing. He knows that manufacturing jobs are good middle class jobs. And he knows a renewed commitment to manufacturing is critical as we work to create a 21st century economy that works for everyone.

There is no stronger advocate for the revitalization of manufacturing than our Vice-President.

It is now my honor to introduce the Vice President of the United States... Joe Biden.