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U.S. Secretary of Labor talks with students at HCC Southeast

HOUSTON (October 25, 2012) – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis visited Houston Community College Southeast, 6815 Rustic, Thursday. HCC was one of the stops on Solis’ tour to colleges and universities across the nation to discuss education and workforce issues.

Solis spoke to HCC students about the economy, education and training. She addressed the need for more students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, to prepare for careers in those fields.

“They absolutely are essential careers, and we need to have more young people and people who are currently looking for work to get enrolled in programs available at the community colleges to obtain those certificates and credentials in STEM areas,” Solis said.

The Secretary of Labor also called for continued integration between junior high and high school students and community colleges and training programs.

“What an exciting time to have the junior highs involved with the community colleges and industry and every part of the educational institutions linking up and creating a chain of opportunity to talk about investments of education in STEM,” Solis said.

The audience asked questions about job creation, funding for international opportunities to prepare students as global citizens, and what roles small business owners and entrepreneurship play in the economy.

Baldomero Garza, LULAC National Vice-President for the Southwest noted that the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) worked to bring Solis to Houston Community College because of the educational opportunities HCC brings to the community and citywide.

Guests included HCC Chancellor Dr. Mary S. Spangler, HCC Board Chair Mary Ann Perez, District III, HCC Trustees Bruce Austin, District II, Carroll Robinson, District IV, and Eva Laredo, District VIII, and HCC Southeast President Dr. Irene Porcarello.

High school students were also in attendance from the East Early College High School located on HCC Southeast’s Felix Fraga Campus.

“It was thoughtful and inspiring for me. I’m looking forward to all the programs that she mentioned. I see her as a role model, and I want to be there one day,” said Liani Salmeida, an 11th grade student at the East Early College High School hoping to study in the medical field.

Solis is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a regular U.S. cabinet secretary and the first Hispanic Secretary of Labor. She was confirmed February 24, 2009.

About HCCHCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities for 75,000 students each semester. HCC is composed of six colleges that serve the greater Houston area’s diverse communities by preparing individuals to live and work in today’s increasingly international and technological society. To learn more go to

Contact:Lesa Spivey
Office of HCC Communications
P 713.718.5438

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