Hilda Solis resigns as labor secretary

Solis, the first Latina to serve in a Cabinet, is stepping down, the White House announced Wednesday.

In a letter to employees at the department, Solis said she submitted her resignation to President Obama Wednesday afternoon. After reflecting on her future with friends and family in California over the holidays, Solis said she “decided to begin a new future.”

In a statement, President Obama thanked the former Southern California congresswoman for her long career in public service, calling her a “tireless champion for working families.”

“Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class,” Obama said. “Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work.”

Solis’ departure comes amid a reshuffling of Obama’s senior staff and Cabinet as he is set to start his second term.

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