President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for secretary of commerce, setting the stage for her departure and the rise of Lieutenant Gov. Dan McKee, Cumberland's former mayor, to serve the two years remaining on her term.

"Rhode Island may be small, but our economy is mighty on the strength of our small businesses and innovative technologies," said Raimondo in a statement. "As secretary of commerce, I will harness that same American ingenuity to create good-paying union jobs and build our economy back better than ever before."

Biden also nominated Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for secretary of labor; Isabel Guzman for small Business administrator, and Don Graves for deputy secretary of commerce. With two dozen cabinet nominees announced, Biden noted that he has put forward the most diverse cabinet in American history, "all tested, dedicated public servants ready to lead on day one."

He said the experienced team will advance his Build Back Better agenda, digging the country "out from the worst jobs crisis in nearly a century by supporting small businesses, dramatically increasing union density, and rebuilding the backbone of America — our middle class. The nominees announced today will usher in a new wave of worker power, help struggling small businesses recover and re-open, and put Americans back to work by creating millions of good-paying union jobs. They will be partners to the president-elect in building a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy that delivers every American a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead."

Biden said, “This team will help us emerge from the most inequitable economic and jobs crisis in modern history by building an economy where every American is in on the deal. They share my belief that the middle class built this country and that unions built the middle class. They know how to work with states, cities, small towns, and tribal communities, along with labor, entrepreneurs, and businesses to get things done for American workers. They will work tirelessly to ensure every American enjoys a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead, and that our businesses can thrive and outcompete the rest of the world. They will be ready on day one.”

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