In an effort to continue to move the economy forward and to find jobs for all Americans President Barack Obama announced today that he has selected Tom Perez as the nominee to replace Hilda Solis as the Secretary of Labor. Solis resigned in January.
Perez formerly served the American people as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and is a 1987 graduate of Harvard Law School. He served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation from January 2007 until October 2009.
President Obama said that Perez helped to pay his way through college as a garbage collector and went on to become the first lawyer in his family. “His story reminds us of this country’s past. That if you are willing to work hard and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from or what your last name is you can make it if you try,” Obama said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Perez will become the only Hispanic member of President Obama’s Cabinet. Perez was the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council from 2002 until 2006.
Perez addressed the White House audience today in both English and Spanish. “It is a remarkably humbling and exciting phenomenon to be here today. My parents taught my four siblings and me to work hard, to give back to our community, to make sure that the ladder of opportunity was there for those coming after us,” Perez said.
With the jobless rate up in 25 states and the District of Columbia, the United States Department of Labor reported today that 8 states had decreased in their unemployment numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 40 states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreased from a year earlier. The national jobless rate stands at 7.9 percent.