Cal Poly Pomona alumna Hilda Solis has won confirmation from the U.S. Senate as President Obama's Secretary of Labor.
She will manage an agency with an annual budget of $53 billion and about 17,000 employees. In her new role, she will focus on developing a prepared and competitive workforce, promoting safe and secure workplaces, and protecting and strengthening economic security for workers.
Solis studied political science at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1979. Prior to Obama's cabinet appointment, she was serving her fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and her district included El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Covina, West Covina and Azusa.
Elected to Congress in 2000, Solis has consistently supported measures to increase the minimum wage, make it easier for workers to organize and to preserve a ban on privatizing jobs at the Labor Department.
Solis also has served in the California State Senate, the State Assembly and on the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees. In 2000, she became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues in California. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, Solis attended the University of Southern California, where she received a master's degree in public administration.