If we can’t begin to agree on fundamentals, such as the elimination of the most abusive forms of child labor, then we really are not ready to march forward into the future.
Education is important because, first of all, people need to know that discrimination still exists. It is still real in the workplace, and we should not take that for granted.
Really, the potential for, first of all, any college graduate today is enormously good. These are good times for anyone with a college degree today, particularly African Americans. With a college degree today, you really breach the unemployment rate.
Well, I tell young people to be successful today that, first of all, that what you learn today directly impacts what you earn tomorrow. This is a knowledge-based economy.
Unlike any other time in our history, we have to know that staying in school and getting an education is the most important thing you can do.
The public sector certainly includes the Department of Labor. Those are jobs that are available. They are open and they are good paying jobs. The government as a whole has been actually retrenching under President Clinton’s leadership.
But the real growth I must say in terms of the public sector for the Labor Department is really at state and local levels. That’s where the real opportunities are today.
We have had actually a decline in government service overall, but the growth is in high-tech areas, specialty areas in the Labor Department and other departments.
My overall message for labor members is… that we understand that the benefits of trade are clear, but the disruption and the dislocation are painfully concentrated and we can’t ignore them.
The fact of the matter is, this is a very dynamic economy we have, and in this dynamic economy, you have a lot of job gains, but you also have job loss.
To me, it is a process, a process that starts with raising awareness, engaging international partners on this issue, and being committed to a different course of action.
This can not be about a race to the bottom.
It is very important that our young people have constructive early work experiences. But it is equally important that their jobs are safe and complement their education, rather than complete it.