U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Congresswoman Barbara Lee on Tuesday visited the Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland, a nationally recognized program that helps expand opportunities for workers and strengthens the pipeline of talent for industry.
The training includes classroom and hands-on instruction in a variety of areas –applied math, cement and iron work, job safety, plumbing, and solar installation.
Also attending was Gay Plair Cobb, CEO of the Oakland Private Industry Council, which founded Cypress Mandela in 1993 in the wake of the Loma Prieta Earthquake.
“There’s a bright future for people who work with their hands. We have to make sure we have that skilled workforce to compete,” said Perez. “We have to take the workers as we find them. Some have some college, others dropped out in the ninth grade. Others have spent time in the military.”