ST. LOUIS – U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh was in St. Louis on Thursday to discuss health care and participate in a roundtable for women’s empowerment and work equity.
Walsh, who was the mayor of Boston before becoming President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Labor, wanted to assess our city’s progress under a number of federally assisted programs working to promote the workforce here locally. He met with workers, union and business leaders, and state and local officials. Walsh also visited several organizations whose mission is to help develop workforce sustainability in the Gateway City.
“I am proud to welcome Secretary Walsh to St. Louis today,” Mayor Tishaura Jones said. “We discussed the importance of empowering women with good jobs and the necessity of federal infrastructure funding in helping our city build back better.”
Jones met up with Walsh at a roundtable discussion hosted by RUNG for Women, an organization that coordinates educational, professional and economic career resources for women in the workplace.
At the roundtable, Walsh stressed the need for equal pay for women and better jobs.
He heard from a variety of area women about how they handled the challenges of juggling family life with careers. And participants discussed the need for women to not only have a job, but to have access to meaningful and well-paying employment to improve lives and families across the region.
Walsh shared official data about women’s being forced to quit paid jobs in order to attend to family matters during the pandemic. This alone removed millions of women from the workforce in 2020, demonstrating the impact to the economy and underlining the need to balance earnings and access to good jobs. This is particularly true for women of color, who have traditionally been disenfranchised from quality careers.
The Secretary noted the importance of building up America’s infrastructure and touted the president’s agenda to bring skilled labor into the workforce and address some of the shortfalls in educating Americans for jobs that require more tech skills than ever before.
“Helping women connect with good-paying jobs strengthens families and communities across St. Louis,” Walsh said. “I was happy to meet with advocates and Mayor Jones today to hear what support St. Louis needs to move the region forward.”