Gov. Dannel Malloy appointed East Hampton native Sharon Palmer to serve as the commissioner of the state’s Department of Labor, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
“For more than two decades, Sharon has been a tireless advocate for working people from all walks of life in the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said. “She has shown an ability and a sensibility in working with management to affect meaningful change. And, as we all know, change is hard. But change is also necessary."
Palmer grew up in East Hampton. She earned her B.A. at St. Joseph's College in West Hartford and her M.A. at Eastern Connecticut State University. She currently lives in the Quaker Hill section of Waterford, and is a member of Waterford's Representative Town Meeting.
Palmer was formerly a teacher at Clark Lane Middle School in that town. She also is the president of the AFT Connecticut, an AFL-CIO union representing 28,000 teachers and other workers.
“I want to thank Governor Malloy for this opportunity,” Palmer said. “I found the collaboration with him and his administration last year produced broad, positive consensus, and I’m looking forward to now being a member of the administration.”
Palmer will start on October 5.
“Governor Malloy is a strong supporter of the rights of working people, and he understands that change is best achieved when labor and management work together,” Palmer said. “I think his administration has accomplished a lot of good in 20 months and I’m looking forward to helping to accomplish even more.”