Secretary Solis celebrates Labor Day

Friday - 9/3/2010, 10:08am EDT

Hilda Solis, Secretary, Department of Labor

Click below to hear the interview

Download mp3

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Labor Day is upon us. While it's generally thought of as the end of summer, it's also a great time to reflect on the work that's been accomplished over the past year.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis didn't break a sweat coming up with her answer for Federal News Radio.

One of the things I'm most proud of is that part of our charge was to provide help to get unemployment assistance out to the 50 states. The staff here at Department of Labor and out in the regions did a phenomenal job in making sure that we reached as many people as we could, and that continues to be our effort because there are many people that are, obviously, looking for employment and they need that unemployment assistance.

Programs for job training are another bright spot for Solis, and beefing up outreach to Americans looking for work. New media, said the Secretary, has been extremely helpful. "I think it's great because that's where we should be. We, as a federal government, should be ready to meet the new demands and needs of the new technology that's out there."

As for the coming year, the first priority will remain helping people find employment, "but number two to also provide information and some sense of security at the job, in the workplace, so we've really beefed up a lot of our investigations in terms of Wage and Hour and OSHA and other divisions here at the Department of Labor. We've actually hired (over 500) new investigators." (Number corrected by the Department of Labor via e-mail.)

Solis said Labor intends to continually lower unemployment rate by connecting employers with trained workers. As part of that effort, she plans to try to expand outreach by working within communities.

The Secretary reminded the Federal Drive why Labor Day is not just about traffic jams and hot dogs and extends her virtual greetings of the day in the video below.

To hear the entire interview with Tom Temin and Amy Morris, click on the audio player at the top of the page.