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Books That Shaped Work in America

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carlfillichio_402129_402130To commemorate its 100th anniversary, the U.S. Department of Labor has launched “Books that Shaped Work in America (www.dol.gov/books), an online project which explores work, workers and workplaces through literature, and aims to educates the public about the history, mission and resources of their Labor Department.

People from all walks of life are being asked to recommend books that informed them about occupations and careers, and molded their views about work.

What book would you list that shaped work in the nation? What title from which iconic author to choose? Fiction or nonfiction: which plays a bigger role? Whose life—in biography or autobiography—exemplifies the axiom that hard work is the best path to achieving the American Dream?  Plays and poetry count, too.

Already on the list: Death of a Salesman, What Color is Your Parachute?, Working, Economics in One Lesson, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath,  The Feminine Mystique, Anthem, and On the Waterfront, among others. U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, contributed suggestions for the list, as did George P. Shultz and seven other former labor secretaries from both sides of the aisle. Other notables that contributed to the list include authors Daniel H. Pink and Joan Acocella, Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith, Liz Claman of Fox Business News, President of the National Urban League Marc Morial and Scott McGee of Turner Classic Movies. Their recommendations are included on the initiative’s website, along with brief summaries of each book and links to related U.S. Department of Labor resources.

To learn more, or to suggest a book to add to the list, visit: www.dol.gov/books.

About the Author: Carl Fillichio serves as senior advisor for public affairs and communications at the U.S. Department of Labor.  He oversees the department’s media and public relations efforts, internal communications, social and digital media, audio visual production, graphic design, editorial services, web development and the DOL National Contact Center.  He also serves as the chair of the department’s centennial and the U.S. Labor Hall of Honor.

Prior to coming to the Labor Department Fillichio was a senior vice president at Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, where he promoted the firm’s thought leadership in talent management, diversity recruitment, and philanthropic initiatives.

Previously, he served for seven years as the Vice President for Public Engagement at the Council for Excellence in Government, a national non-partisan think tank that worked to improve government performance and citizen participation, understanding and trust in government.  In this role Fillichio convened thought leaders, Members of Congress, journalists, and community members to examine a wide range of public policy issues. Working alongside the newly formed Department of Homeland Security, he led a national initiative to capture public perceptions of safety and emergency preparedness. He also directed the Council’s efforts on attracting the best and brightest to public service and served as program committee chair of the annual Excellence in Government Conference. For his work, he was named in 2004 to Utne Magazine’s list of the “Radical Middle: 10 Americans Reshaping the Future of American Politics.”

In 2013 he was named “Communicator of the Year” by the National Association of Government Communicators.

This is not Fillichio’s first “tour of service” at the US Department of Labor: He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs during the Clinton Administration. He grew up in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida and is a graduate of the John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.


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