Dee DePass has been a Star Tribune business reporter since 1993, covering small business, financial institutions, manufacturing and, most recently, the economy. Originally from New York, Dee came to Minnesota after earning her master's in journalism at the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree at Vassar College.

Labor Secretary visits Minneapolis today

Posted by: Dee DePass Updated: September 29, 2011 - 8:29 AM

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis arrives in Minneapolis Thursday with a mission: To sell the President's jobs package. She's got her work cut out for her.

First she'll meet with construction workers and business leaders at the 10th Ave. Bridge in Minneapolis to talk about how Obama's Jobs Act would positively impact the state economy and state workers. The event starts at 2:15.

Solis will be preaching to the choir. 

More than 25,000 state workers and construction contractors were kicked to the curb during the three week state government shut down in July. Many are still hurting and worried that future state and federal budget cuts will kill their jobs permanently. Still, her speech at the bridge should help bystanders guage whether "Minnesota nice" or anger is on public display. After all, state unemployment is still at 7.2 percent and the national rate is 9.1 percent.

Solis will also meet with the Star Tribune Editorial Department and detail some of the highlights of The American Jobs Act, which promises $600 million for Minnesota bridge and road repair and could put  7,500 Minnesotans back to work, according to the Labor Department.

Stay tuned for more details as soon as that meeting ends.

Lastly, Solis' busy visit to the Twin Cities would not be complete without a visit to the AFL-CIO. She will end her day at Hilton Hotel where the AFL-CIO is hosting its Next-Up Young Worker Summit. About  800 college age workers are expected to attend to drum up morale during tense times. Lots of young college grads are sweating the job market and finding only temp work and internships. We'll have to wait and see what Obama's plan says about that.   

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