Secretary of Labor pays Utah a visit

By Patricia Quijano Dark

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Aug. 11 2011 9:39 p.m. MDT

Hilda L. Solis tours the Salt Lake Technical Center, a facility of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in Sandy, Utah, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. To her left is Scott Jones who works with combustible dust.

Us Department of Labor

SALT LAKE CITY — Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis tweets, blogs and is always "on-message."

On a whirlwind three-day trip to Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, Solis flew into the Beehive State on Thursday and met with community leaders and OSHA workers.

Whether through social media or in person, she wants everyone to know that President Barack Obama and his Cabinet are focused on one thing: "creating jobs, jobs, jobs."

And how to access these jobs? Well, through the Internet of course. The department's website, www.dol.gov, is full of apps, interactive programs, and information. A believer in the power of new technology, the Secretary of Labor often refers to the voluminous information available online: from figuring out what your next career should be post-layoff to finding grants for that next great invention.

Her trip to Salt Lake was brief; she spent the morning at the Department of Labor OSHA laboratories in Sandy. She tweeted that it was like being on CSI.

She also launched the Labor Department's national heat safety program: rest, shade and water, to prevent heat-related health problems on the job, especially for people who work outdoors.

Before leaving for Las Vegas, she attended a round-table discussion organized by the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. One question she faced was what she thought of the E-Verify system.

"I would like to see another approach taken," Solis said. "But this is a debate that has to go before Congress and the Senate. Which brings me to the need for comprehensive immigration reform. If we can't get immigration reform, we can't drag people out of the shadows."

She also noted that a more legalized process would help to address issues such as families being broken up.

email: pdark@desnews.com

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