Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Mon, September 2 2013 at 3:54 PM, Updated: Mon, September 2 2013 at 4:04 PM
Today is Labor Day, a day to celebrate both union and non-union workers in the United States.
But in an improving yet struggling economy, is there anything to celebrate?
NBC 5's Kyle Aevermann reports.
On this labor day, more than 100 southern Oregon workers and their families gathered at Tou Velle State Park trying to find solutions for sustainable jobs for everyone.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week remained near the lowest level in more than five years.
"But there's still way to many people without work," said Jim Alexander from the Southern Oregon Central Labor Department.
"I think the biggest challenge right now to get our leaders in government and business leaders to create jobs."
Oregon Representative Peter Buckley agrees but says it all comes down to one thing.
"We are investing in education first and foremost. I passionately believe that if people have access to affordable education they have the path forward to good jobs and good lives," Buckley explained.
A number of local labors groups attended the picnic and say one of the best ways to help the local economy is to connect with one another.
"I think when we get together and celebrate who we are as workers we will improve our community," said Alexander.
Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.
Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.