Thomas Perez, the son of Dominican immigrants, was formally sworn in as Secretary of Labor by Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday September 4, 2013. Perez is now the only Latino in President Obama’s second term cabinet, and his leadership with the Department of Labor comes during a critical time, as the President has promised to create more jobs and an overhaul immigration policy.
The swearing in ceremony was attended by various Latino leaders who have worked and known Perez through his career. “Many of us have waited a long time for this day – what an honor,” said Janet Murguia, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza.
Adding to the list of supporters, Cid Wilson, a New Jersey based Democratic activist and national Dominican American leader, said “this is a monumental day for the 2 million Dominican Americans who call America home… [Perez] sets an example for many in the community that we can aspire to great heights, when given the educational opportunity.”
As Secretary of Labor, Perez is the highest-ranking Dominican American in the United States’ history. He will now be leading the Department of Labor in creating opportunities for American workers-including the 23 million Latinos who comprise 15% of the labor force in the United States.
This article was first published in Latinovations.[Photo by whitehouse.gov]