Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has stepped down.
The first Latina to lead a federal agency, Solis joined the Obama administration back in 2009 after representing California in the House of Representatives. She said in a letter to colleagues that she was leaving her post to “begin a new future” by returning to her roots. She calls her departure “one of the most difficult decisions” she has made.
“Growing up in a large Mexican-American family in La Puente, California, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to serve in a president’s Cabinet, let alone in the service of such an incredible leader,” said Solis.
She said she was proud of her tenure at the department during a time which saw unbearably high unemployment rates.
“We have much to be proud of,” she said. “In the past four years, more than 1.7 million people have completed federally-funded job training programs; of those, more than one million have earned industry-recognized credentials. In addition, Labor Department investments in our community colleges have expanded their capacity to provide local, flexible, employer-specific job training to millions of Americans, and transformed these institutions into engines of economic growth.