US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez tours YouthBuild Camden

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Group photo with Labor Secretary Perez

On Thursday August 20, US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez visited YouthBuild Camden and participated in a round table discussion with U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross and state Sen. President Stephen Sweeney as well as business leaders, city and state officials.

While speaking to young people and dignitaries gathered for the event, Perez said that he believes that "zip codes should never determine destiny.” He continued by describing apprenticeships as an important post-secondary education route for those interested in the building trades.

Students and alumni had the opportunity to talk to Perez and others about the impact YouthBuild has had on their lives. Sean Benton, a 29-year-old alumnus of the program voiced his support for the work that YouthBuild Camden does, saying, “If you give (disconnected youth) the hope and opportunity, you’ll be surprised what they can do.”

During Perez’s tour of the program, he had the chance to meet and interact with students in their classrooms and look on as they practiced carpentry skills like installing cabinets, light fixtures, and vents.

Perez’s trip to YouthBuild Camden is part of a cross-country tour that he is using to gain insight into how the Department of Labor can help Americans succeed in the workplace and at home.

Check out photos and videos from the visit:

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