President-Elect Barack Obama has finished naming his Cabinet nominees a month before taking office. Mr. Obama announced appointments for his final two top Cabinet positions, the secretaries of Labor and Transportation.President-Elect Barack Obama said the troubling economic times facing the United States made it necessary for him to name the members of his Cabinet as soon as possible.
Speaking at a news conference Friday in Chicago,the President-elect named Hilda Solis as his choice for Secretary of Labor. Solis is the daughter of Latin American immigrants, and has focused on immigration issues while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mr. Obama said, for the past eight years, the Department of Labor has not lived up to its role as an advocate for working families. He said that he is confident that this will change when Solis leads the department.
"I am confident about that because Hilda has always been an advocate for everyday people," he said. "When she received an award several years ago, she said, fighting for what is just is not always popular, but it is necessary."
Solis said she is looking forward to working with President-Elect Obama to reinvest in workforce training. She said she will support high-growth industries by training the workers that they need, including promoting "green-collar" jobs.
"These are jobs that will provide economic security for all working families, while securing our energy supply and combating climate change," she said.
In addition to announcing Solis' appointment, Mr. Obama announced his pick for Secretary of the Department of Transportation, U.S. Representative Ray LaHood. The nomination makes LaHood the second Republican chosen for the president-elect's cabinet.
"Ray's appointment reflects that bipartisan spirit, the spirit we need to reclaim in this country to make progress for the American people and a spirit Ray has embodied in all his years in public service," Mr. Obama said.
LaHood previously served on the U.S. House Transportation Committee.
The president-elect also named former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk as U.S. Trade Representative, and venture capitalist Karen Mills to lead the Small Business Administration.