Commencement Speaker

Jane Oates
Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration

Jane Oates

Jane Oates was nominated by President Barack Obama to join Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis' leadership team at the Department of Labor in April, 2009. Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training on June 19, 2009, she now leads the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in its mission to design and deliver high-quality training and employment programs for our nation's workers. Working with States and territories, municipalities, labor management organizations, employers, educational institutions, fellow Federal agencies, and other partners, ETA strives to assist workers in gaining the skills and credentials needed to enter careers that pay family supporting wages and offer opportunities for advancement. With a nationwide reach and focus on good jobs in promising industries, ETA programs are designed to serve every American who aspires to career success.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Oates served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine. In that position Oates worked to strengthen the connections among high school, post-secondary education and the workforce.

Ms. Oates served for nearly a decade as Senior Policy Advisor for Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She worked closely with the Senator on a variety of education, workforce and national service legislative initiatives, including the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Ms. Oates began her career as a teacher in the Boston and Philadelphia public schools and later as a field researcher at Temple University's Center for Research in Human Development and Education. She received her BA in Education from Boston College, and an M.Ed in Reading from Arcadia University.