WASHINGTON – Today, R. Alexander Acosta was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence as the 27th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor.
After being sworn in, Secretary Acosta made the following remarks:
“I want to thank President Trump, Vice President Pence and the members of the Senate, for the privilege of serving as Secretary of Labor.
I want to thank my wife, Jan. Her unyielding support and her heartfelt love means the world to me. It’s amazing to be loved, and I love her back more than words can really say.
My daughters Delia and Rosalia are amazing. They have followed this process in their own way. When President Trump nominated me, I had to sit down and explain to them that we were, if confirmed, moving to Washington, and they wanted to know why. And so I sort of took a pause and I tried to explain what being Secretary of Labor means in words that a four and then six-year-old could understand. And this is what I said, ‘Daddy helps his students find good jobs and so the President has asked daddy to help people all over America find good jobs too.’
And then it struck me explaining the responsibilities of the Secretary of Labor to a four and a six year old really helped me encapsulate so many of the responsibilities of the Department of Labor, because as Vice President said, it is about finding and helping and supporting jobs and job growth.
My parents fled a Cuban dictatorship in search of freedom. They met in high school, they fell in love, and they married young. Neither attended college. What an amazing nation this is, that the son of refugees who forewent an education to support a family could be standing here in this room taking this Oath administered by the Vice President of the United States.
That is what America is about.
My parents’ experience is part of who I am, and frames my perspectives that I will bring to the important responsibilities of the Department of Labor.
We have a lot of work to do.
Too many Americans have seen jobs go overseas.
Too many Americans have seen jobs filled by foreign workers.
Too many Americans see that jobs are available, but that they don’t have the skills or the experience to fill those jobs. The skills gap is real and needs to be addressed.
Supporting Americans abilities to find good jobs, safe jobs, is a priority for President Trump, for Vice President Pence and for me.
I am honored and I am profoundly humbled to be called in service of this important effort.
Thank you very much.”
Read this news release in Spanish.