Commerce Secretary Pritzker Pledges Action On Skilled Labor Shortfall

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited the Port of Houston Thursday as part of a nationwide listening tour. The secretary will be presenting her findings to the White House, with recommendations on policy changes.

Pritzker began her tour in July. She’s been meeting with business and labor leaders, listening to their concerns and ideas on how to strengthen the economy. Pritzker spoke to reporters following a tour of the Bayport Terminal.

“One of the biggest concerns that we’ve heard, actually across the country, is around workforce training and making sure that we assure that our workforce training systems around the country can provide enough skilled labor to fill the jobs that are being created. We have too many unfilled jobs today because folks are not trained in precisely the needs of the businesses that want to hire them.”

Another major theme of the talks was the need for greater government support for international trade agreements — in order to lower tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports.

Pritzker used the occasion of the visit to announce that Texas now leads the nation in terms of employment supported by manufactured exports — with 695,000 jobs.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker meets with a foreman at the Port of Houston’s Bayport Terminal.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee looks on.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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