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Date:November 5, 2007
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Governor Blanco Names Bennett Soulier Labor Department Secretary

BATON ROUGE – Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco today named Bennett J. Soulier as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Labor, to serve as the head of the agency for the remainder of her administration. The appointment comes as the current secretary, John Warner Smith, accepts a position as chief executive officer of Next Horizon.

Soulier is currently the assistant secretary for the Labor Department’s Office of Workforce Development, overseeing a variety of workforce training programs. He has also served as undersecretary of the agency.

Gov. Blanco said Soulier’s proven leadership skills and vast knowledge of workforce development programs will be an important asset as the agency continues to assist workers and businesses recovering from the 2005 hurricanes.

“During his tenure as assistant secretary, Soulier has worked diligently to transform the agency’s Workforce Development system. With 20 years of experience, Soulier will continue to provide innovative and strategic leadership to the agency and ensure a smooth and orderly transition for the next administration.”

Gov. Blanco further commended Soulier on his integration of local and state workforce entities. “As our state continues to move forward in recovery, Soulier has been on the forefront of efforts to rebuild Louisiana’s workforce. I am pleased to have him lead the Department of Labor.”

Soulier’s new position is effective Nov. 5, 2007.

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