Chao was unanimously confirmed for the post as Sen. Craig Thomas, (R-Wyo.), put her name in nomination Monday afternoon. The vote was originally slated for Tuesday, but was put forth early at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., due to a lack of opposition.
Sources said Chao’s confirmation is expected to be well received by the business community since she expressed an interest in job retraining as part of her confirmation testimony.
Chao, the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky)., previously served as president and CEO of United Way of America, director of the Peace Corps, deputy secretary of U.S. Transportation, and a vice president for BankAmerica.
In her testimony, Chao stressed the need for quality job training which she said must be available to all workers. She maintained that “coordination and commitment” among federal, state and local governments and unions and business is necessary.
“I will work with the Department of Education in a very coordinated and close fashion to insure that both departments are working to help workers face the global economy,” Chao testified.