Commerce Secretary Pritzker Pledges Action On Skilled Labor Shortfall

From left to right: Bob Harvey, president, Greater Houston Partnership; Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker; Col. Leonard Waterworth, executive director, Port of Houston Authority
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.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...