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Hilda L. Solis served as Secretary of Labor from February 24, 2009 until January 22, 2013. Prior to confirmation as Secretary of Labor, Secretary Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 – 2009.
In the Congress, Solis’ priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families. A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, she authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
In 2007, Solis was appointed to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), as well as the Mexico — United States Interparliamentary Group. In June 2007, Solis was elected Vice Chair of the Helsinki Commission's General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. She was the only U.S. elected official to serve on this Committee.
A nationally recognized leader on the environment, Solis became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. Her California environmental justice legislation, enacted in 1999, was the first of its kind in the nation to become law.
Solis was first elected to public office in 1985 as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees. She served in the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1994, and in 1994 made history by becoming the first Latina elected to the California State Senate. As the chairwoman of the California Senate Industrial Relations Committee, she led the battle to increase the state's minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75 an hour in 1996. She also authored a record seventeen state laws aimed at combating domestic violence.
Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. A former federal employee, she worked in the Carter White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and was later appointed as a management analyst with the Office of Management and Budget in the Civil Rights Division.
She was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Secretary of Labor on January 20, 2009.
Secretary Hilda Solis's Posts
- February 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM EDT
While on the "Community College to Career" bus tour, Dr. Jill Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis learn about the training of the next generation of nurses.
- February 22, 2012 at 7:48 PM EDT
Dr. Jill Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis today kicked off a three-day “Community College to Career” bus tour to highlight the unique role community colleges play in developing a flexible, highly-skilled 21st-century workforce to meet emerging regional business needs.
- February 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM EDT
The Equal Pay App Challenge is a national competition to develop software applications that leverage public data to promote equal pay for men and women.
- January 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis discusses the Obama Administration's Summer Jobs+ initiative and reflects on her own summer job experiences.
- December 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM EDT
With 4 job seekers for every job opening, we know that it is still difficult for unemployed workers to find jobs no matter how hard they look. The Secretary of Labor explains the need for Congress to take action to extend the federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits program, which has served as a lifeline for the millions of long-term unemployed and their families who need this assistance to get back on their feet.
- December 15, 2011 at 12:49 PM EDT
A new rule would ensure that the approximately 1.8 million workers who provide in-home care services for the elderly and infirm receive the protections of minimum wage and overtime pay that nearly every employee in the United States already receives under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- November 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM EDT
At the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis speaks about the progress this Administration has made for LGBT individuals in the workplace and the challenges that remain.
- June 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM EDT
The Obama Administration continues its commitment to the safety, education, and fair standards and of the mining industry and its workers.
- June 6, 2011 at 3:40 PM EDT
Speaking at the National Mall, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis commemorates 100 years of registered apprenticeships and the success of the millions of Americans who started their careers as apprentices.
- June 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM EDT
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis visita Brideport High School, one of the finalists in the Presidents Commencement Challenge. Secretary Solis commended the school and its students for their efforts and achievements in the past year.