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Secretary Of Labor Alex Acosta Speaks In Denver

By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4) - President Donald Trump's Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, spoke at the annual meeting of a conservative organization in downtown Denver Friday.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held the final day of its 44th annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency.

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Labor Secretary Alex Acosta (credit: CBS)

It follows Thursday's appearance from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Her visit incited protestors opposed to her education policies.

Unlike Thursday, Friday saw no protests. It was a timely visit for the Labor Secretary as Colorado's job's report was released moments after his speech.

The state's unemployment rate is at a record low of 2.3 percent.

Secretary Acosta acknowledged the uptick in jobs, but spoke to a growing national problem facing businesses.

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Labor Secretary Alex Acosta (credit: CBS)

"Employers are struggling, they are saying we cannot find the workers we need. This is a Colorado issue and this is a nationwide issue. Nationwide, there are nearly 6 million open jobs and job creators are saying we cannot find the workers we need," said Acosta.

In Colorado, the number of unemployed is hovering just over 67,000.

colorado nonfarm payroll jobs graphic

Acosta says the large number nationwide is due to a mismatch between the skills the workplace demands and the skills educational institutions provide for the workforce.

President Trump recently announced an apprenticeship initiative, which Acosta says will provide skills that lead to more jobs and allow students to "earn while they learn."

On Friday, Acosta addressed another change he believes will add even more fuel to the workforce.

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(credit: CBS)

The administration believes changing regulations of occupational licensing will create millions of jobs.

Acosta said if licenses are needed for health and safety, streamline them, but if they're unnecessary, then get rid of them.

Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015. She is currently a reporter for CBS4 This Morning, which means she is always on the go, covering a wide variety of breaking local news and important local events. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.

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