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(Collingswood, NJ) - In what has become the largest Labor Day observance in New Jersey, the Southem New Jersey AFL-CIO Central Labor Council today highlighted the importance of education in driving tlre nation's economy and girritg students the tools to successfully compete in the ever-changing job market. Officers, delegates, local union offrcials and members ofthe Central Labor Council joined with elected officials and student scholarship recipients atlhe T2l"t Annual Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Observance.

"In order,to succeed in life, you need a good education," said Susan Michielli, President of the Southem New Jersey AFL- CIO Central Labor Council. "I am proud to belong to an organi zationthat is determined to assist in making higher education more affordable for our brothers and sisters and flreir families each and every year."

The Southem New Jersey AFL-CIO Central Labor Council continues to put its resources behind its commitment to education. At today's even! $ 1,000 scholarships were awarde dto 2l southem New Jersey students with union affiliations. The scholarships - supported by local labor unions, labor orgamzalions and generous individuals - assist students who attend Camden County College, Rowan College of Gloucester County, Rowan University or Rutgers-Camden. Since establishing its scholarship program, the Council has awarded over 600 scholarships to students, totaling more than $500,000.

In addifion to the scholarship recipients, the Council presented UOSS Board Chairman and Bricklayers and Allied Craftworker Business Agent Joseph Pillo with the George E. Norcross, Jr. Humanitarian Award. Mr. Pillo works diligently with his union and finds time to Chair the Union Organization for Social Seryice's Board of Trustees, volunteer his time with organi zation in his town and spend time assisting the southem New Jersey community in a variety of projects - both big and small.

'"The George E. Norcross, Jr. Humanitarian Award was created to recognize those affiliated with organized labor who dedicate themselves to assisting their fellow workers and being active in their communities," said Sue Michielli. The award was named after George Norcross Jr., Donald's late father who served as President of the Union Organization for Social Service from 1955 to 1993, and was a labor leader in southem New Jersey for more than 40 years. "I have known Joe for a long time and I know how committed he is to helping his friends, neighbors and commumty as a whole. His dedication to service embodies the very nature of this award."

The Labor Day Observance concluded with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Peter J. McGuire Memorial at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken. Peter J. McGuire is the "Father" of Labor Day and is corsidered one of the principal figures in the history of the American Labor Movement.