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Cantwell Addresses Washington State Labor Leaders

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Location: Vancouver, WA


Cantwell Addresses Washington State Labor Leaders

Wednesday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) addressed Washington state labor leaders at the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) Convention. In her remarks, Cantwell highlighted the need for Washington state's workforce to get the training it needs to stay competitive in a global economy, called on labor leaders to look to the future and welcome new American policies with a new Administration, and urged her colleagues to support programs that increase apprenticeship and educational opportunities. Cantwell has long supported labor unions, health care and education programs.

"The Labor Council's commitment to opportunities and solid groundwork is exactly what will keep this state on the road to a successful and prosperous future," said Cantwell "I am fighting to ensure that the dream of living better than your parents becomes a reality for all workers in Washington state. Back in DC, I'm on your side. I'm waging a war against this Administration's continual assault on family-waged jobs, affordable health care for all, and the right to unionize and I'm here to say it will NOT continue."

Cantwell has long worked on reforming the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program that would expand eligibility to service workers and assure training and education opportunities without time limits or funding limits. This includes apprenticeship programs with 4-year college degrees as well as community college training. Cantwell has also helped secure funding for both the Pacific Mountain Workforce Consortium and the Workforce Innovation and Regional Economic Development Initiative (WIRED) that will prepare workers for high-skilled, high-wage opportunities.

"Competing in a global world means we must fight smarter. And the only way we can do that is by investing in our workforce communities. One of the first steps forward is to ensure that any and all workers displaced by international trade have a solid safety net with income supports, health care, and the best training opportunities to upgrade skills. I am choosing to stand on the side of labor. And I'm going to ensure that Washington's workforce gets the training it needs to stay competitive in a global economy," continued Cantwell.

In 2007, Cantwell, from her seat on the Senate Finance Committee, cosponsored a bill with Finance Committee Chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) to renew and expand the TAA program to services sector workers and workers affected by offshoring to countries like China or India. It also creates a new TAA program for rural and distress communities.

For the full text of Cantwell's speech please call: (206) 281-8901


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