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U.S. Labor Secretary Perez to visit St. Paul and Minneapolis Friday

In St. Paul, Perez will bring attention to programs that better prepare students for the workforce. In Minneapolis, it’s a minimum wage media opportunity.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez comes to the Twin Cities Friday with events in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In St.Paul, he’ll join Mayor Chris Coleman in the morning to bring attention to the national Youth CareerConnect program that’s designed to better prepare students for the work force.

They’ll talk about a partnership between St.Paul School District and St. Paul College, which will use a $3.7 million grant to develop career academies in finance and information technology, starting next year.

In the afternoon, he heads west to Minneapolis, where he’ll be at Chuck & Don’s pet supply store on Lake Street to promote an increase in the federal minimum wage. Minnesota has already raised the minimum wage — up to $9.50 an hour by 2016 — and President Obama wants Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation.

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Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Congressman Keith Ellison are scheduled to join him for the media availability.