Jane Oates was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to join 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 the 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, Oates served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Adviser to former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine. In that position, Oates worked to strengthen the connections among high school education, postsecondary education and the workforce. She also served for nearly a decade as Senior Policy Adviser for former U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.