A day before delivering a speech railing against Congressional Republicans’ opposition to his economic agenda, President Obama made an unexpected visit to a HIRED job training center in a predominantly Black neighborhood of north Minneapolis on June 26.
While at the training center, Obama spoke to a classroom of members participating in Project CARE, which trains young mothers in sales and customer service jobs before placing them in internships.
“All of us start in different places,” Obama told the nine women present at the meeting, according to a White House media pool report. “I was basically raised by a single mom… My mom was in a similar place as a lot of you guys”.
Obama said his mom benefited from programs such as those at HIRED, and told the women he wants to ensure “all of you have opportunities and a chance to thrive.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Labor Secretary Tom Perez joined Obama for the visit.
The visit was part of a two-day series of events leading up to a speech in Minneapolis, during which the president lambasted Congressional Republicans for derailing his efforts to increase the minimum wage, provide equal pay for all workers, and extend unemployment benefits.
“Republicans in Congress this year have voted down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class,” he said, according to MinnPost.com. “Over and over again they’ve shown that they’ll do anything to keep in place systems that really help folks at the top but don’t help you. They don’t seem to mind.”