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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
- August 17, 2010 at 1:00 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis discusses key points from her roundtable discussion concerning some of the challenges facing Asian American and Pacific Islander low-wage immigrant workers.
- August 13, 2010 at 2:09 PM EDT
Read the Secretary of Labor's Journal entries from her recent trip to Central America.
- July 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM EDT
Secretary Solis visits the Denver Green Jobs Initiative, a program that provides free green job training for the unemployed, underemployed, veterans, women and minorities.
- June 22, 2010 at 10:42 AM EDT
The new Patient’s Bill of Rights will bring immediate relief to many Americans and provide peace of mind to millions more who are only one illness or accident away from medical and financial chaos.
- June 15, 2010 at 2:31 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announces $9 million in grants to provide veterans with green jobs training as part of the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (VWIP).
- June 11, 2010 at 6:48 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis writes about joining the First Lady to recognize the 90th anniversary of the Women’s Bureau.
- May 11, 2010 at 3:06 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announces the Career Video Challenge.
- March 9, 2010 at 4:13 PM EDT
Secretary Solis reflects on the progress of women and emphasizes the importance of equality for women in the workforce.
- January 29, 2010 at 12:34 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis reflects on the one-year anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
- January 14, 2010 at 3:26 PM EDT
Labor Secretary Solis talks about a new website that brings together more than 600 online job search and career advancement tools.