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Key Obama cabinet members to visit Baltimore amid riot recovery

WASHINGTON -- Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will visit Baltimore on Wednesday to announce new federal funding for neglected communities, the latest effort by the Obama administration to engage with the city following last week's riots.

The appearance will come a day after a visit by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who on Tuesday met with city leaders, police and the family of Freddie Gray.

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A Department of Labor official said Perez is working with state and local leaders on a project to provide job training, especially to young adults in West Baltimore. The department awarded a similar grant in the wake of the protests in Ferguson last year. No further information about the funding was available Tuesday, in part because the department is developing the program.

The two will be joined by Broderick Johnson, an assistant to the president who leads a White House effort to help young minority men, My Brother's Keeper. Johnson, a Baltimore native, also attended Gray's funeral last week. Gray died after suffering an injury while in police custody.

The administration officials will be joined by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Baltimore city schools CEO Gregory Thornton, among others.

The Obama administration has been taking steps to engage with the city even as the White House has faced criticism from some for declining to have the president make a personal visit. Obama has said a presidential visit would unnecessarily draw police resources from areas where they are needed.

Perez is a former Maryland labor secretary and head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. He lives in Takoma Park.

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