Vice President Kamala Harris stopped by Durham to speak to a crowd at Durham Technical Community College on Wednesday. During her 12-minute address, Harris pledged solidarity to Ukraine and spoke on the Biden-Harris administration’s plans to create higher paying jobs for Americans.
“The eyes of the world are on the brave people of Ukraine,” Harris said. “They are fighting, not just to defend their homes and their families, but to defend their democracy, their freedom, their sovereignty and their territorial integrity. We stand with the people of Ukraine in this fight.”
Turning to the subject of labor, Harris praised North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and U.S. Reps. David Price and George Butterfield, both D-N.C., for their work defending labor unions.
“Over the years, visiting all of these places [across the country] I have met workers of all ages, and from all places,” Harris said. “They have many traits in common. Among them: tenacity, creativity, brilliant minds and a relentless determination to get the job done right. That is what I saw here today when I was spending time in the classrooms here. We saw the extraordinary hard work and discipline that goes into the work that builds America.”
Following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address yesterday, Harris told her Durham audience that the Biden-Harris Administration has created over six and a half million jobs and lowered the unemployment rate to four percent.
“As I travel our nation, I will tell you what I see most clearly is neither fear nor fatigue, but resilience. The resilience of the American people,” Harris said.
Harris talked about the implementation of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which aims to further economic recovery by rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and rails and expanding access to necessities like clean water and high-speed internet while creating union jobs.
“We must then create more good paying jobs here [in America]. Good union jobs,” Harris said. “Our administration is deeply proud to be the most pro-labor administration in the history of our country.”
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, who also spoke at the event, called Harris a “champion for working people.” During his speech, Walsh announced a $45 million investment in grant programs from the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen community colleges.
After her public remarks, Harris engaged in a private round-table discussion, according to a White House pool report from a reporter traveling with Harris.
During the drive back to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Harris’ motorcade stopped at R.N. Harris Elementary School for the second time of the day. Harris exited her motorcade and spoke with the children to “dole out pep talks at eye level for about 10 minutes,” the White House pool reporter stated.
Harris arrived in Durham early Wednesday morning and observed Durham Tech’s apprenticeship programs before giving her speech later in the day. The vice president was preceded by Walsh, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal, Price and Butterfield.
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Ishani Raha is a Pratt sophomore and a university news editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.