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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks for the Honorable Hilda L. Solis
Launch of DOL/Facebook Social Jobs Partnership
Washington, D.C.
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thank you, Marne, for that introduction. And thank you to Facebook, NACE, DirectEmployers and NASWA for your commitment to social responsibility and America's economic recovery.

Here at the Department of Labor, we're proud that we've assembled the largest collection of job search, job placement and job training tools anywhere in the United States. But our resources are only as good as the ways we deliver them to the American people.

There are 132 million reasons I'm excited to announce our new social jobs partnership today. That's the number of Americans who will use Facebook on a monthly basis this year. By 2013, it's projected that 62 percent of all web users in this country and nearly half of the American public will be using this transformative social network.

Facebook began as a vehicle to connect people with people. Today, my department is proud to work with this iconic American company to connect people with jobs.

We're here to announce the starting line-up in our all-star social media team committed to putting America back to work. We expect and welcome more to join us.

At DOL, we have the content to engage, assist, and connect unemployed Americans with employers looking to hire.

At Facebook, they have the audience of people plugged in on a scale we've not seen since the World Wide Web was created.

NACE will connect our college graduates and alumni with employers looking for the critical skills they acquired in school.

DirectEmployers will provide cutting-edge research to help America's top employers find the human capital they need to succeed in the global economy.

And NASWA will help job-seekers in local communities get the employment services and vital benefits they need to find employment and provide for their families.

But this is just the beginning. Going forward, we'll reach out to other leaders in social networking to bring them into the fold — from Twitter to LinkedIn to the next big thing on the social media horizon.

During my tenure, the Department of Labor has used social media to battle the long-standing stigma that government doesn't do customer service well. This innovative partnership shows otherwise. It represents the Obama administration's strong commitment to customer service on the most important issue of our time: helping people find work. Landing on this page can help Americans land a good job.

Even at a time of 9 percent unemployment, we know there are millions of unfilled job openings in this country today. Much of our political debate today is focused on creating jobs. This challenge is foremost on my mind. But creating jobs is only part of the puzzle. We also must do more to help job-seekers land jobs that are already open.

Right now, there are more than 3 million job openings in America that employers are actively looking to fill. Beginning today, 132 million Facebook users can discover new tools to find out about these open jobs and the skills they needs to get hired.

I want to mention four resources the Department of Labor will be making available to Facebook users.

First, this social jobs partnership will connect 132 million Americans to DOL's "My Skills, My Future" portal. MySkillsMyFuture.org has already received over a million hits; with this partnership, it will receive millions more. This portal helps laid-off workers and people looking to change careers. It helps them find new occupations where their existing skills will translate into employability. It can help part-time workers find full-time jobs, and it can help lower-paid workers find higher-paying jobs.

You can enter your current or most recent job, and it will tell you about other career paths that use similar skills. It will tell you how much those jobs pay, what additional skills you need to acquire and the local institutions that can train you. It's very user-friendly. For each career field, the site gives you a side-by-side chart listing salary information, educational requirements and employers in your area that are hiring now.

Second, this social jobs partnership also will connect 132 million Americans to DOL's "My Next Move" portal. MyNextMove.org has already received more than 800,000 hits; with this partnership, it will receive millions more. This is a user-friendly resource that helps new entrants into the workforce figure out the job that's right for them. And it's especially helpful for young people, for those with limited English proficiency and for those without any post-secondary education. It asks you to fill out a questionnaire listing your interests and abilities, then it suggests different employment paths that might make sense for you. It will tell you about local apprenticeship programs and certificate programs, so you can get training to fill jobs in high-growth industries.

Third, this social jobs partnership will connect 132 million Americans to DOL's CareerOneStop portal. At CareerOneStop.org, job-seekers can learn about our nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Center locations across the country. It will tell you how to find a One Stop in your area. At these centers, employment professionals will help you update your resume and put your best foot forward in job interviews. If you can't make it to a physical location, the website will inform you about financial assistance and unemployment benefits if you've been laid off. It will give you job searching strategies and resume tips. And it will tell you how to get a license or certification for different fields, like our growing clean energy industry.

And fourth, this social jobs partnership will inform 132 million Americans about our Job Corps program. This is the federal government's oldest and most successful residential education and training program. And I have to be honest with you: It's one of our programs that's nearest and dearest to my heart.

Job Corps has been around for almost half a century. There are nearly 125 Job Corps Centers serving 48 states. JobCorps gives students who didn't finish high school a second chance. It gives them new skills so they can enter the work force, the military or college. Job Corps helps high school dropouts get their diploma, and it gives them industry-recognized credentials in the trades, so they can find work or continue their education. We're excited that Facebook will help spread the word about this incredible program.

As you can see, we have a lot of content at the Department of Labor to help Americans looking for work. This partnership will help us deliver it.

So I'll close today by expressing my enthusiasm with a simple thumbs-up gesture that the Facebook community can appreciate. The Labor Secretary likes where this is headed!

Thank you for coming. I look forward to announcing more milestones for our partnership in the weeks and months ahead.