Secretary of Labor Acosta visits Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, traveled to Fairbanks this weekend to visit the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center and meet with local leaders in construction.

"You can hear about Alaska, you can read about Alaska, (but) you need to be on the ground in Alaska to see what the real issues are," said Senator Dan Sullivan.

Senator Sullivan has been making a push to bring senior leaders up to Alaska to see and understand the unique challenges the state faces.

"Senator Murkowski (and) Senator Sullivan have been talking to me about all the needs of Alaska, and we are here to work with this state to ensure the growth we are seeing in the lower 48 is duplicated right here," said Secretary Acosta.

The secretary added that he is in discussion with the state's department of labor and Governor Walker to support workforce development here in Alaska.

"The economy is going to be growing so quickly with the military spending and the energy spending that we're going to be seeing... we need to make sure that Alaska has the skills to support those industries," said Secretary Acosta.

Some of that economic growth relies on China, but Secretary Acosta says that despite recent tensions, trade is continuing and the relationship is still there.

"The fact that you are negotiating for Americans, does not mean you do not have a relationship. We are trading with China, we continue to do so, and we just want to make sure it's in a way that benefits Americans," said Secretary Acosta.

While in Fairbanks, Secretary Acosta had a round-table discussion with construction leaders in the area.