Secretary Solis Says Farewell

In a Jan. 22 departing post on the Labor Department's Work in Progress blog, the department secretary writes that she is proud of having saved workers' lives during her tenure and ready for the next chapter in her life.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is leaving her post with a feeling of satisfaction from accomplishments during her four years in the post but ready to start something new, she writes in a farewell message on DOL's Work in Progress blog. It was posted Jan. 22, the day after President Obama's second inauguration. Solis had announced about two weeks earlier her intention to resign.

"We don't do what we do for the money, or the glory; we do it because public service is the very best way to make your own, unique contribution to the world. Leaders may change, circumstances may change, but our service must be constant. It forms an unbreakable bond between ourselves and our communities, our country and the people we care about," she wrote.

"We are all on a journey of service. Yesterday, in an outstanding inaugural speech that mentioned Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall, the president gave us a map for that journey of service. He said it is our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began and to make the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American. We know that there will be challenges on this journey—there always are. But there is also a true path. And we've been on that path for the past four years at the U.S. Department of Labor."

She then listed these accomplishments:

  • "We have funded more job training programs that have enhanced the skills of more than 1.7 million people.
  • "We have conducted more wage and hour investigations and collected more back wages for more than 300,000 people.
  • "We modernized Unemployment Insurance benefits so that it could provide a lifeline to more people.
  • "And -— quite simply —- and I say this with pride, satisfaction and immense gratitude: we have saved more workers' lives.

"Our record of achievement has been remarkable," she continued. "But there is still so much more we have to do. And I'm counting on the colleagues I leave behind to do it. And to do more."

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