US Secretary of Labor Solis to Resign: White House

Hilda Solis
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Hilda Solis

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, a long-time member of President Barack Obama's Cabinet and the first Latina to head a major federal agency, plans to resign, the White House confirmed on Wednesday.

Obama issued a statement lauding Solis for being a "tireless champion for working families."

"I wish her all the best in her future endeavors," he said.

At the same time, a White House official said three Cabinet members planned to remain as Obama begins his second term. They are Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Attorney General Eric Holder and Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

"Leaving the department is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, because I have taken our mission to heart," Solis said. "As the daughter of parents who worked in factories, paid their union dues and achieved their goal of a middle-class life, and as the first Latina to head a major federal agency, it has been an incredible honor to serve."

Solis said that during the past four years, she is proud that 1.7 million people have completed federally funded job-training programs. Her agency oversaw about $67 billion in spending for unemployment insurance benefits, job training and other job placement and worker-protection programs as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"[T]hese monies were carefully targeted to maximize job creation so that working people received the help they needed and deserved," she added.