Ready to take the next step in your career? Visit the career center closest to you. Learn more.

September 5, 2013

Before an extraordinary audience in the Great Hall of the Department of Labor, Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez during a formal ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Perez, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 18, is the 26th Secretary of Labor. With his family at his side, he was sworn in after being hailed by the vice president as “the embodiment” of the American Dream, who has devoted his life to providing others with an opportunity to succeed.

In remarks that drew rounds of applause, Perez spoke of mentors and encounters that shaped his life, including the belief that “you can make it if you try.” He called for closing “the skills gap” by investing in the nation’s workforce, ensuring a safe and level playing field for workers, reforming the immigration system, and increasing the minimum wage. Perez praised companies and unions engaged in partnerships that “create living wage jobs for tomorrow” and business leaders who recognize that a living wage “makes for a more productive workforce, which means a more profitable company.” Boiled down to its essence, Perez said, “The Department of Labor is the Department of Opportunity.”

The swearing-in ceremony included remarks by Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza; Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; and Seth D. Harris, the deputy secretary of labor. Guests included White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, and Ambassador Anibal de Castro of the Dominican Republic. Rabbi David Saperstein provided the invocation. Sign up to receive DOL’s newsletter, here

Connect With Us
Stay in the know

The Workforce Partnership is dedicated to providing San Diego Residents with the most up-to-date resources for finding a career.

Subscribe to our newsletter.