As Congressman Andy Levin emerges as perhaps the leading contender for the secretary of labor post in Joe Biden’s Cabinet, the Oakland County Democrat envisions making a job training program launched by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm a nationwide project in 2021.

Levin told Deadline Detroit that whether in Congress or as a Cabinet member, he hopes to see a national initiative based on the No Worker Left Behind initiative that he ran for the Granholm administration.

The NWLB, which offered up to $10,000 of free tuition for community college or trade school to jobless and low-wage workers, faced staunch opposition from Republican legislators in Lansing when it was introduced in 2007. But Levin believes the successes of the NWLB he witnessed can be duplicated from coast to coast with President-elect Biden’s support.

“When I ran the NWLB, we really put a lot of people in school and got them on a path to a new career working in an ‘in-demand’ job,” said Levin, 60, of Bloomfield Township. “We can do that on a national basis.”

The lawmaker in recent days received growing support from labor leaders who have urged the incoming president to choose him as his labor secretary. A former union organizer, Levin received endorsements from the UAW, Communications Workers of America, Utility Workers Union of America and the National Nurses United.

He insists he’s not campaigning for the job but “if offered it I would have to consider it. For me, it’s an honor just to have my name mentioned. Still, I’m truly focused on my job. I love being in Congress,” Levin said in a phone interview with Deadline Detroit from the second-story porch of the U.S. Capitol.

The Levin name has long been associated with a Michigan political dynasty. Andy Levin’s father is former congressman Sandy Levin, who served in the House for 36 years and ran for governor twice. His uncle, Carl Levin, served in the Senate from 1979 to 2015, including 30 years with Biden.

The younger Levin succeeded his father in Congress in the 2018 election and he represents much of the blue-collar areas of the Detroit suburbs — the 9th District, territory that includes southeast Oakland County and nearly all of Macomb County south of Hall Road.

His political pedigree offers some advantages in landing the labor secretary post, and his Michigan roots in the industrial Midwest also are a plus. But his resume is his biggest asset.

Continue reading here.