U.S. Secretary of Labor visits NEPA

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LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh made two stops in Luzerne County Wednesday, discussing President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Nicholas Santana came to the Kirby Memorial Health Center on Wednesday for his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While he was prepared to get the shot, he wasn’t expecting to see Labor Secretary Marty Walsh at the clinic.

“I think it’s actually very encouraging to see that they’re coming out to somewhere so little like Wilkes-Barre and really giving the effort to show support to those that are coming out and getting the vaccine,” Samtana said.

The former Boston mayor visited the Diamond City to meet with healthcare workers and speak with those getting vaccinated. He highlighted President Biden’s American Rescue Plan funding that aided the distribution of vaccines across the nation.

“50 percent of the American people have both shots now, and we’re starting to see people go back to work. We want to make sure people get back to work and get our economy back up and running again,” Walsh said.

Earlier in the day, Senator Robert Casey, along with representative Matt Cartwright, joined Secretary Walsh at the Pile Solutions in Hanover Township. They met with workers on the factory floor, and talked about President Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan.

“Just as we needed the Rescue Plan to rescue the country from the pandemic, and we needed it right away, now the Jobs Plan and the Families Plan is a way to rebuild the country,” Senator Casey said.

The plan would invest $115 billion into our nation’s infrastructure, as well as $50 billion in workforce development.

“It’s gonna lead to a lot of jobs when we make those investments. The other thing we have to do is beef up our community colleges and our trade schools so that we smooth the pathway for young workers to come to work in terrific places like this,” Representative Cartwright said.

The White House and Republicans have disagreed over what qualifies as infrastructure and how the government should pay for investments.

President Joe Biden and GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito met Wednesday to discuss a possible compromise. They plan to talk again on Friday.

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