By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON -- Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian is joining the governor's Cabinet as secretary of labor and workforce development, the governor announced Friday morning.
Kaprielian, a former House Democrat from Watertown, will replace current Secretary Joanne Goldstein, who is leaving the administration to become associate vice president of Northeastern University.
Gov. Deval Patrick was meeting with his Cabinet Friday morning and plans to hold a press conference with Kaprielian at noon at the State House.
"I am thrilled that Rachel has agreed to take on this new role, and I am confident that she is prepared to continue the difficult work of getting our residents back to work, and preparing both our workers and employers for the jobs of the 21st century economy," Patrick said in a statement.
Kaprielian was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, and served on Beacon Hill until 2008 when Patrick appointed her as registrar of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. She joins an administration that is winding down with just over 11 months remaining before Patrick gives up the governor's office.
The governor's announcement of Kaprielian's appointment included no information about how he would fill her position at the RMV. Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said the governor will make an announcement relative to that position at noon.
With Patrick departing the Corner Office after this year, more senior administration officials may depart for new jobs. That could create a challenge for the administration, which is already battling problems with operations at the Massachusetts Health Connector Authority, the Division of Unemployment Assistance and the Department of Children and Families.
Patrick started 2013 by asking his Cabinet secretaries for commitments to stay on through 2014, or to depart so that he could bring new people in to finish his term with continuity at the top levels. Several top officials decided at that time to leave the administration, and four new secretaries were brought on board.
Asked on Friday if he expected more departures from his Cabinet in addition to Goldstein, Patrick said, "I hope not. I'm sorry she's leaving."
(Andy Metzger contributed reporting.)