Labor Secretary Hilda Solis became the latest Cabinet official to leave President Obama's Administration.
In a statement President Obama thanked her for her service, especially during the tough economic times his administration inherited and through which the nation has persevered.
"Over her long career in public service – as an advocate for environmental justice in California, state legislator, Member of Congress and Secretary of Labor - Hilda Solis has been a tireless champion for working families. Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class. Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work. I am grateful to Secretary Solis for her steadfast commitment and service not only to the Administration, but on behalf of the American people. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."
Solis represents the latest departure in a series of Cabinet changes President Obama is making. Just yesterday, he nominated John Brennan to lead the CIA and former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to lead the Pentagon. Changes will also come in Secretary of State and Treasury Secretary.
Born in Los Angeles in 1957, Labor Secretary Solis earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in 1981, and as a Democrat, represented California's 31st District from 2001 – 2003 and then the 32nd District from 2003 – 2009.
As a Member of the California State Assembly, she played a large role in the debate on illegal immigration to the United States by backing a bill to allow immigrants in the United States illegally to attend California colleges as long as they were residing in the state. As a staunch defender of labor, she supported labor and opposed the tobacco industry in supporting a bill that banned smoking in all workplaces, according to published reports. While in the California legislature, Ms. Solis served on committees dealing with education, labor, and environmental issues, including a new committee that dealt with groundwater contamination and landfill leakage, reports say.
Solis was in Columbus at Columbus State Community College with Dr. Jill Biden last February to kick off a three-day “Community College to Career” bus tour that started at CSCC, then traveled south to Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
Earlier that month, President Obama announced an $8 billion Community College to Career Fund, co-administered by DOL and the Department of Education, to forge new partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train two million workers with skills that will lead directly to jobs.
The purpose of the tour Solis and Biden participated in was to highlight the unique role community colleges play in developing a flexible, highly-skilled 21st-century workforce to meet emerging regional business needs. Dr. Biden, a community college instructor for 18 years, and Secretary Solis, who began her career in public service as a community college trustee, heard from students, educators and employers driving these innovative partnerships.
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