The president, in his final term, has visited the area three times within two years – twice within the past few months. The president's most recent visit was an extended two-day stay with visits to Minnehaha Falls, Matt's for a Jucy Lucy and Lake Harriet. Less talked about was Obama's unexpected stop at the job training center, HIRED, 1200 Plymouth Ave. N., in north Minneapolis.
Sen. Al Franken and Labor Sec. Tom Perez joined the president on his visit to HIRED where he met with a room full of women taking a three-week Project CARE course on customer service. Obama praised the women for seeking additional job training skills and offered a personal word of encouragement.
"All of us start in different places. I was basically raised by a single mom," said Obama. "My mom was in a similar place as a lot of you guys."
Obama said his mother benefited from help and programs and he wants to makes sure all of the women there have opportunities and a chance to thrive.
The president spent about 20 minutes talking privately with the women in the HIRED training program. The Project CARE class provides young mothers training in customer service and sales for four weeks, followed by paid internships. HIRED uses Federal funds from the Workforce Investment Act and administers the Minnesota Family Investment Program funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. HIRED has business partnerships in sectors such as healthcare, construction and manufacturing.