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Heastie Butts Heads With Rochester Work Group

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was at the Monroe Community College Applied Technologies Center speaking with members of the Workforce Development group, including business and education leaders like Danny Wegman, Augie Melendez of the Hillside-Work Scholarship Connection, Anne Kress from MCC, and others.

They all delivered informal presentations and answered questions about what they're doing to put Rochester back to work.

Heastie was particularly interested in MCC's efforts to design its curriculum around current and emerging industries in the area.

"Monroe Community College is trying to steer curriculum toward training people to fill those jobs, which I think is a major component in trying to tackle poverty."

Heastie and some of the business leaders disagreed on issues like raising the minimum wage for younger workers. The speaker argued that age restrictions don't take into affect young people who have children to provide for, or other extenuating circumstances.

"Every time we talk about raising the wage there's always this discussion on having a youth age which I assume will continue to be brought up, but I believe that if you do a job and I do a job than we should both be paid the same wage."

The speaker and the workforce development group talked about job credits for young workers as a possible compromise.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.