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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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FY 2002 Annual Performance Plan

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The 1913 Act that created the Department of Labor (DOL) stated that its purpose ”... shall be to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” While this statement is as true today as it was 88 years ago, our vision has matured as the Department has addressed changing economies and a diversified workforce. Today, the Department must ensure that the 21st century workforce is prepared to face the 21st century economy with hope—by equipping all workers with the skills to reach their aspirations.

As we respond to the challenges of the changing economy, the Department’s first responsibility will continue to be the protection of workers by enforcing the Nation’s labor laws:

• to ensure the safety of every workplace,
• to guarantee an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work,
• to stop discrimination,
• to protect workers from coercion and intimidation, and
• to safeguard the pension of every American worker and retiree.

The Department will emphasize prevention and compliance assistance—to protect workers before they are harmed physically or economically. Consistent with the Department’s commitment to enforcement, we will work together with employers on better prevention strategies, avoiding whenever possible the loss of life, health or economic well-being that fines and penalties can never fully redress.

This FY 2002 Annual Performance Plan is built upon the three strategic goals the Department established in 1997, goals which have supported the Department’s efforts to unify around core mission responsibilities.

DOL Strategic Goals
Goal 1. A Prepared Workforce:
Enhance opportunities for America's workforce
Goal 2. A Secure Workforce:
Promote the economic security of workers and families
Goal 3. Quality Workplaces:
Foster quality workplaces that are safe, healthy, and fair

The Department will soon create a new Office of the 21st Century Workforce to bring focus to our initiatives to find solutions for our workers and for the economy as a whole to the challenges that lie ahead. The first responsibility of this new Office will be to hold a Summit on the 21st Century Workforce, where the Department will call on leaders from business, labor unions, government and elsewhere to address the structural changes that are affecting our workforce and our economy. The results of the Summit will shape the Department’s vision for the future and the role of DOL in ensuring that the new century will bring opportunity and hope for all of America’s workers. The Department will revise the FY 2002 Annual Performance Plan during the fall to include the results of the Summit on the 21st Century Workforce and the objectives of the new executive team in the planning process for FY 2002.

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