Labor Secretary visits Chattanooga State - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Labor Secretary visits Chattanooga State

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis spoke at Chattanooga State Wednesday about potential job growth in the area. 

The school is set to receive a $3 million dollar grant to for training after its success of the Wacker Institute and Volkswagen partnership.  This comes days before Washington D.C., is expected to release new unemployment numbers.

"This is everything that the we at the dept of labor and what everyone in Washington cares about which is training our American workers and putting them to work," Secretary Solis said.

The Secretary toured the Wacker Institute plant where the company is looking to hire hundreds of new workers.  Volkswagen's billion dollar investment has already added thousands to our area.

The latest numbers show the US- holding steady around 8%, with some 12 million people still looking for work. Tennessee is slightly above the average, but Chattanooga State leaders say the grant money should help put skilled workers back on the job.

"We see it as one of the most essential things we do for our community. We think it is critical and proven it is critical." Chattanooga State President Jim Catanzaro said.

Chattanooga is below national average, but areas like Bledsoe and Rhea counties loom in the double digit unemployment range and relief can't come fast enough.

Secretary Solis says jobs are on President Obama's radar as he continues to face pressure over job creation. "The president has made it clear that he wants us always communicating with businesses."

Chattanooga State says the money will be applied to training and hiring new staff as well.  Experts are predicting about 160 thousand jobs will added for the month of September, but the official numbers come out Friday.

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