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Secretaries of L&I

1971-1979

Paul J. Smith

Photo of Paul J. Smith

Paul J. Smith was born on February 5, 1915, in Hazleton. He graduated from St. Gabriel’s High School in 1931 and Mount Saint Mary’s College in 1935. Upon graduation he joined the staff of Lieutenant Governor Thomas Kennedy, President of the United Mine Workers. With the passage of the Unemployment Compensation Act in 1936, he was appointed to the Bureau of Employment Security (BES) to help set up the new UC service; he served in the BES from 1937 to 1971. During WWII he served in U.S. Air Force in Europe from 1940-1945; he rose to rank of Captain in Combat Intelligence.

He also served as Director of Unemployment Compensation from 1955-63. From 1963-1970 he was Assistant Director of the Pennsylvania State Employment Service (PSES) and participated in developmental programs to help minority groups of workers as well as young and older workers.

Governor Milton Shapp appointed Smith Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry in 1971.

From the PA Manual Vol. 111, 1993.