Labor Comm. Jim Bennett retires after 34 years of state service - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Labor Comm. Jim Bennett retires after 34 years of state service

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Governor Robert Bentley shakes hands with retiring Labor Commissioner Jim Bennett. Governor Robert Bentley shakes hands with retiring Labor Commissioner Jim Bennett.
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Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Jim Bennett retired Thursday following 34 years of state service. Bennett began his career as a capitol reporter for the Birmingham Post Herald in 1961. He entered into legislative service in the House of Representatives, representing Homewood, in 1978. He served in the House until 1983, and was then elected to the Senate. He served there, representing Jefferson County, until 1993.

Bennett was appointed secretary of state by Governor Guy Hunt in 1993 to fill a vacancy, and was later elected to two more terms, in 1994 and 1998. He also served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State from 1999-2000.

In 2003, Governor Bob Riley appointed him to Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor, and Governor Robert Bentley re-appointed him when he took office in 2011.

"We serve in order to make a difference," Bennett said. "Over the years, I believe that's what we've done. I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to work with so many qualified people and to have seen so many changes in Alabama. But don't count me out just yet - you'll still be seeing me!"

"Jim Bennett has been around through many of Alabama's toughest and best years," said Tom Surtees, Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director, and who will become Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor on Monday, October 1, when a recently passed merger will take place. "I am proud to have known him as a fellow Cabinet member, and his years of service to the people of Alabama are invaluable. I wish him the best in his retirement."

Governor Robert Bentley attended the farewell reception, hosted by ADIR, for Bennett.

"I would like to thank Jim for all of his years of service to the people of Alabama," he said. "He has been a true and dedicated public servant who has made a great impact."

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Department of Industrial Relations

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