Department of Labor secretary visits Finishing Trades Institute

Walk­ing in their shoes: Thomas E. Perez vis­ited the Fin­ish­ing Trades In­sti­tute train­ing fa­cil­ity in the Far North­east on May 21. TOM WAR­ING / TIMES PHOTO

Thomas E. Perez, the sec­ret­ary of the U.S. De­part­ment of Labor, paid a re­cent vis­it to the Fin­ish­ing Trades In­sti­tute train­ing fa­cil­ity, at 2190 Horn­ig Road in the Far North­east.

The fa­cil­ity is the edu­ca­tion de­part­ment of Dis­trict Coun­cil 21, the In­ter­na­tion­al Uni­on of Paint­ers and Al­lied Trades.

The in­sti­tute rep­res­ents com­mer­cial paint­ers, dry­wall fin­ish­ers, glazi­ers, glass­work­ers, in­dus­tri­al paint­ers, wall cover­ers and mul­ti­craft dec­or­at­ors.

Dur­ing his May 21 vis­it, Perez toured the fa­cil­ity, con­duc­ted a roundtable dis­cus­sion and met with ap­pren­tices and labor and in­dustry lead­ers such as Joe Ash­dale, the Dis­trict 21 busi­ness man­ager.

In his State of the Uni­on ad­dress, Pres­id­ent Barack Obama called for “more ap­pren­tice­ships that set a young work­er on an up­ward tra­ject­ory for life.”

Perez, 52, be­came labor sec­ret­ary last Ju­ly, win­ning con­firm­a­tion in a 54-46 vote of the U.S. Sen­ate. It was the first time in his­tory that a Sen­ate con­firm­a­tion was de­cided on a strictly party-line vote. ••

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