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
- September 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM EDT
- September 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT
This Labor Day, we lift up American workers who are doing what it takes to reinvent themselves to ensure that our future is even brighter than our past.
- July 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM EDT
Secretary Solis sits down with the Mayor and employers like BRE Properties, Starbucks, and Jawbone who understand that summer jobs offer young people a chance they desperately need, while at the same time helping businesses develop a stronger pipeline to the local workforce.
- July 20, 2012 at 6:30 PM EDT
The Department of Labor gathers local, national and international HIV and disability stakeholders for a critical conversation about research and best practices that impact people living -- and working -- with HIV/AIDS.
- July 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM EDT
The Summer Jobs+ initiative is helping young people all across the country find summer employment opportunities and there’s still time to find one near you.
- May 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM EDT
For Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, connecting young people with summer employment opportunities that provide critical skills and experience isn't just part of her job--it's personal. The Summer Jobs+ initiative will help youth find paid jobs, internships, training programs and other experiences in their communities through one easy online tool.
- April 19, 2012 at 5:15 PM EDT
Today, the Department of Labor unveiled guidance and opened the application process for states seeking to pursue Bridge to Work style programs, wage subsidy programs, and other innovative models to help unemployed Americans find meaningful employment
- April 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM EDT
The Administration announces the winners of the Equal Pay App Challenge, which invited software developers to use publicly available labor data to create applications to build tools to promote equal pay
- April 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM EDT
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis remembers the miners and families who suffered two years ago in the coal mining disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, and commits to ensuring the full human dignity of every coal miner by pursuing violators with the full force of the law.
- March 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM EDT
Is your company or organization looking to hire young people? Does your organization have mentorship or training opportunities for youth? If so, we want YOU to be a part of the Summer Jobs+ Bank.