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
- May 27, 2011 at 4:38 PM EST
Secretary Hilda Solis discusses an employment campaign to assist veterans with resources and expertise necessary to obtain meaningful careers and maximize their employment opportunities.
- April 5, 2011 at 11:00 AM EST
On April 5, 2010, 29 miners died in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, WV. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis discusses the efforts undertaken by the federal government to improve mine safety.
- March 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM EST
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis relates stories of economic recovery and job creation at auto plants in the Midwest.
- December 14, 2010 at 5:06 PM EST
Cuando empezaba mi carrera, trabajé como asesora de estudiantes y consultora de reclutamiento para universidades.
- December 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST
The second in a series of posts from top Administration Officials on the importance of the DREAM Act comes from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
- September 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM EST
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis discusses her first elected office as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College board of trustees and the important role community colleges play in our education system.
- September 24, 2010 at 1:43 PM EST
Secratary of Labor Hilda L. Solis meets with Lilly Ledbetter. Read the Secreatary's post on equal pay and watch her webchat with Lilly Ledbetter.
- September 16, 2010 at 2:00 PM EST
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis keeps a diary during her trip to Mexico to lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation for the Celebration of the Bicentennial of Mexico.
- September 3, 2010 at 2:00 PM EST
This Labor Day, Secretary Hilda Solis discusses how the Labor Department is working to get America back to work and celebrates the contributions that working men and women have made to the strength and prosperity of the country.
- August 27, 2010 at 1:36 PM EST
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis discusses her trip to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as well as the department's efforts to prepare workers for new in-demand careers and help residents get training and education they need to rebuild their communities, their livelihoods and their lives.