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Labor Secretary Perez met with WIHS students while in Wyoming last week

(Ethete, Wyo.) – When U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez visited Fremont County last week to cut the ribbon on the Wind River Job Corps Center, he also took time out to visit Wyoming Indian High School. Perez said his visit was a directive born out of President Obama’s visit last year to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota where he heard about their struggles and aspirations. Perez, in a blog post, said the President instructed his cabinet to “make sure your agency is doing everything it can to expand economic and educational opportunity for Native American youths.” “High unemployment persists in Wind River, as it does in many tribal communities across the country. Despite this obstacle, each student I talked to had hopes and dreams for their futures. They all are aiming high and want to become nurses, business owners and IT technicians. One student I met named Victoria has an 11-month-old daughter and is determined to finish high school and pursue a degree in culinary arts,” Perez said. “These kids know how to fight and succeed. The school’s basketball team has won 11 titles since the mid-1970s, and in the last decade, the boys’ cross-country teams have won eight consecutive state championships ? including 11 out of the last 12 state titles. Clearly they know a thing or two about coming out ahead,” the Secretary wrote. “The president saw the same drive in the kids he met, and that is why he wants the Department of Labor to use its resources to help Native American youths achieve their goals. ” The Labor Secretary said his visit to the Wind River Indian Reservation, and to the Wind River Job Corps Center, “marked the culmination of another investment meant to help increase opportunity for Native American youths. “Following my meeting with students at Wyoming Indian High School, I joined Sen. Mike Enzi, Gov. Matt Mead, Riverton Mayor Lars Baker, Eastern Shoshone Chairman Darwin St. Clair and Northern Arapaho Chairman Dean Goggles for the ribbon cutting of the first and only Job Corps center in Wyoming. “This is the type of investment that will provide young people, including many tribal youths, with the skills they need to compete and thrive in today’s workforce,” the Secretary said. Read full blog post here . #shortgo