U.S. Secretary of Labor visits Lincoln for grand opening of American Job Center

LINCOLN, Neb (KLKN) – Thursday was the grand opening of the American Job Center in downtown Lincoln, and it was attended by a number of officials, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.

At the ceremony, they talked about the funding behind the center and how will help Lincoln’s growing job market.

Walsh said centers like this are important to filling the millions of jobs created since the pandemic.

He said the facility will help “older workers who need to be retrained, younger workers who need a path forward” and anyone else who needs “a second chance.”

Walsh said immigrants will especially benefit from the facility.

He pointed to his parents, who came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1956, and said their farming skills didn’t give them access to certain opportunities.

“There are people today in the United States of America that don’t understand where they’re going, how do they get their skills?” he said. “And they have opportunities to really get into the jobs we’re creating today with just a little bit of training and a little bit of help. It happens right here.”

SEE ALSO: New American Job Center building open in downtown Lincoln

Walsh credited President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act for helping to fund centers like this across the country, and said they’ll help to get more Americans access to local jobs.

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said the office was paid for by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as well as over $1.5 million in ARPA funds.

“My administration invested in building this new, expanded and more accessible American Job Center in the heart of downtown Lincoln to ensure that even more of our community members are empowered to enjoy meaningful, financially secure careers,” she said.

Officials said centers like these are important for the lower and middle classes to help grow the economy.

The center helps to educate workers and prepare them when searching for a job, according to Dylan Wren, the center’s workforce administrator.

He said it works to get people jobs in a variety of fields such as information technology, child care, nursing, and other high-skill, high-demand and high-wage occupations.

“We partner with Southeast Community College to provide a lot of that training, so people can get an Associate’s in anything from truck driving to nursing and anything in between,” he said. “We also do on-the-job training, so if you’re not interested in going to school, we can work with an employer to get you hired if you don’t have the experience.”

The office is located at 14th and N Streets and is on the ground floor.

The building also has parking attached and a bus stop just outside, making it easier for anyone in need of a job to access.

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