Utah State Industrial Commission member John Florez was appointed Thursday as deputy assistant labor secretary for employment and training, Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole announced.
Florez will hold the No. 2 position in the Employment and Training Administration, which conducts the department's employment, job training, and unemployment insurance programs.Dole said, "John Florez has 30 years' experience in workplace issues and public service. I am pleased he will bring his extensive knowledge and administrative skills to the department's employment and training effort."
Florez obtained the appointment with the help of his former boss, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who is the ranking member on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.
"Orrin pushed hard for him," said Hatch's press secretary, Paul Smith. Florez was an aide to Hatch in 1980-81 and was a consultant to the Labor Committee in 1981.
As a member of the state Industrial Commission, Florez has overseen such matters as discrimination, wage disputes, occupational safety, workers' compensation and labor relations.
From 1982-87 and from 1974-80, he was director of the Office of Equal Opportunity at the University of Utah, which oversaw the school's compliance with civil rights laws. He was also an associate professor in the university's Graduate School of Social Work.
In 1984, he was a special assistant to the secretary of Health and Human Services.