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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [04/15/2010]
Contact Name: Scott Allen
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
Release Number: 10-0479-NAT

Ken Bennett named regional representative of US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Sec rep to cover activities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has announced the appointment of Ken Bennett as her representative in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Bennett is based in Chicago, Ill.

"I am delighted to welcome Ken to the Labor Department team," said Secretary Solis. "He is a driven professional and already has hit the ground running. In fact, earlier this month, he used his many years of public service knowledge to bring together community stakeholders and workers throughout Chicago to help me announce our 'We Can Help' campaign, which is focused on ensuring the nation's low-wage and vulnerable workers are receiving their rightful pay."

Within the U.S. Department of Labor, secretary's representatives, also known as "sec reps," are responsible for managing the department's regional activities on behalf of the secretary. They coordinate federal efforts on the regional, state and local levels, and serve as liaisons to state and local government officials and community stakeholders.

Bennett has a vast and impressive career in public service at the local and state levels, and an unparalleled record of achievement. He returns to his hometown of Chicago after serving in the White House as deputy assistant to President Obama and deputy director of presidential personnel. Prior to working at the White House, he served as the Illinois state director of the U.S. Senate office of then Sen. Obama. He also served as director of field operations for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and as aide to the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. He has an extensive background in strategic program development, project management and staff development on the local, state and federal levels.

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the department administers a variety of federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers' rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.