Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Resigns

"Over the Christmas and New Year holidays with my family in California, I enjoyed my first opportunity in years to reflect on the past and my future, with an open mind and an open heart. After much discussion with family and close friends, I have decided to begin a new future, and return to the people and places I love and that have inspired and shaped my life," she wrote in a letter to DOL employees.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis submitted her resignation to President Barack Obama on Jan. 9, surprising many observers who expected her to stay in the top DOL job well into his second term.

In a letter posted at www.dol.gov and sent to agency employees, Solis praised the work accomplished during her four years in charge of the department.

"Because President Obama took very bold action, millions of Americans are back to work," she wrote. "There is still much to do, but we are well on the road to recovery, and middle class Americans know the president is on their side. Together we have achieved extraordinary things and I am so proud of our work on behalf of the nation's working families. It has been more than an honor to work alongside you in fulfilling the department's mission. Working with all of you as the nation's 25th secretary of labor, I have come to learn that the work we do every day is indeed a labor of love."

President Obama has released a statement in response to Solis' decision: "Over her long career in public service –- as an advocate for environmental justice in California, state legislator, member of Congress and Secretary of Labor -– Hilda Solis has been a tireless champion for working families. Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class. Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers' health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work. I am grateful to Secretary Solis for her steadfast commitment and service not only to the Administration, but on behalf of the American people. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

Solis was confirmed as U.S. secretary of Labor on Feb. 24, 2009, after being nominated to the post by Obama.

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