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Posts Tagged ‘Section 503’

Envisioning the Future at the AAAA’s 2014 National Conference & Annual Meeting

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

AAAA Conference

Ashleigh Brock from UT Health Science Center receiving her raffle prize from Shannon Offord and Amy Williams of DirectEmployers.

Last week a few DirectEmployers team members had the pleasure of attending the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA)’s 40th National Conference in Nashville, TN. Not only were we the Diamond Sponsor, but we also had space in the exhibit hall to talk with compliance professionals about our products and services in addition to a speaking slot on the agenda. Two and a half days of learning and networking at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel have left us reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future of Affirmative Action in the workplace.

Day one kicked off with a thought-provoking plenary session presented by Jackson Lewis PC’s Mickey Silberman as he presented on the changes to the OFCCP regulations as they relate to veterans and individuals with disabilities. After some engaging workshops and an awards luncheon with keynote speaker Kathleen Martinez, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, our very own VP of Compliance and Partnerships, Candee Chambers had the opportunity to present on “Beating the Heat of Your First Audit After the New Regs are in Place: Debunking the Myths Surrounding VEVRAA and Section503”.

In her session, Candee put the ever-present “listing vs. posting” debate to rest, saying that the regulations clearly stating that jobs must be listed for compliance, while proof of job postings may be asked for during an audit. From here she commented on EEO tag lines, contact information, responsibilities of employment service delivery systems (ESDS), self-identification forms, outreach and more. She ended the session with a helpful checklist to help employers to prepare for a possible audit. 

Candee Chambers presenting at AAAA Conference

VP of Compliance & Partnerships at DirectEmployers Candee Chambers presenting at the AAAA Conference.

The first evening ended with an exhibitor’s reception and a special screening of the movie ANITA: Speaking the Truth to Power, the powerful true story of a young African American woman’s battle for workplace rights, social justice and equality.

Day two was a blur of keynote speakers, networking in the exhibit hall, and more workshops on a variety of topics relating to Affirmative Action. The day ended with a town hall-style meeting with a panel of past AAAA presidents and a roundtable discussion on the topic of disability hiring. The last day of the conference ended with final keynote speaker, Patricia Shiu, the Director of the OFCCP with the U.S. Department of Labor.

This conference had a nice balance of the history of Affirmative Action and what the future may hold. We were thrilled for the opportunity to sponsor and can’t wait for next year!

Attending industry conferences this summer and want to network with us? Check out our full event schedule to see where we’ll be. We love connecting with our Members and seeing new faces!

How Do Member Companies Use DirectEmployers Association?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Why should an employer join DirectEmployers Association? How do companies use their DirectEmployers Association membership? I’ll be the first to admit, we provide a lot, so it can be difficult to cover everything in an elevator speech. Many of our Members are federal contractors, so they might initially join for access to tools and resources to assist with VEVRAA and Section 503. Others join for the job distribution and recruiting solutions. Ideally, we hope Members will maximize all of the benefits!

Bill Fowles of Member company ABB, Inc. is one example of how a Member is using DirectEmployers for both OFCCP compliance and recruiting. Listen to why he feels DirectEmployers is his most valued resource when it comes to OFCCP compliance, and why ABB is now heavily engaged in using .JOBS:

Tim Weidner of ABB at the Veterans Connect Career Fair that preceded DEAM14.

Key takeaways:

  • ABB has locations scattered across the U.S. in nearly every state. DirectEmployers helps them maintain compliance, push diversity and inclusion initiatives and maintain their military presence in hiring.
  • ABB uses My.jobs Microsites and the My.jobs Network for visibility in search engines to reach candidates with a specific and unique skill set, like electrical engineering and robotics, in addition to target small and rural locations.

Whether you’re a current Member or considering membership, connect with us to learn more about DirectEmployers membership benefits by calling 866-268-6206, or say hello at one of the upcoming industry conference we’re attending.

How the New OFCCP Regs Have Impacted Recruiting and Sourcing

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Recent regulatory changes have impacted federal contractors and how they recruit individuals with disabilities. Learn from Derek Zeller of Advanced Resources Technology Inc. as he discusses how these changes affect both job seekers and employers.

To learn more about the new OFCCP regulations for VEVRAA and Section 503, view the OFCCP Fox Report.

DEAM14 Workshop C | OFCCP Compliance Preparedness, Recruitment Branding, Nerdy Data and Social Recruiting

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Record breaking attendance, enlightening keynote speakers, networking events and plenty of informative sessions helped bring DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) to another level, setting the bar even higher for next year’s event. DEAM14 offered attendees three concurrent sessions that ranged from recruitment tools and practices to compliance preparedness and technology. Since each concurrent session was open to a variety of topics, attendees were able to choose the session most relevant to their current challenges.

With several HRCI accredited sessions, Workshop C was often standing room only with attendees eager to gain valuable insight and best practices from our knowledgeable presenters.

Day One

Lori Adams of Iowa Workforce Development during panel discussion.

With the morning’s general session adjourned and a quick break for lunch, attendees had the opportunity to split up and partake in the conference’s concurrent sessions. The first session in Workshop C featured Lori Adams, Iowa Workforce Development; Bill Dowling, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment; Christy Merriman, DirectEmployers Association; and Charlie Terrell, National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). While many Members are aware of the Association’s partnership with NASWA, this presentation helped attendees better understand state workforce agencies and their available resources, as well as give a high level overview of how the National Labor Exchange (NLx) can help further candidate outreach.

Robert Dromgoole of Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

Quickly following the NLx session, Robert Dromgoole of Pacific Northwest Laboratory took the stage to discuss how his organization has used an authentic branding and direct recruitment approach to reach 100% of their hiring targets for the past nine years. From the start of Rob’s presentation, social media was abuzz from both the rich content of Rob’s presentation, as well his high energy and positive approach.

After a short break and some delicious snacks, attendees headed back to the concurrent sessions to finish off the day one workshops. Phillips 66’ s Thad Satterfield, Courtney Hawkes and Sophia Sissamis took the stage, along with Kristine Rhodes of NAS Recruitment Innovations, to discuss how Phillips 66 developed a strategic campus brand that showcased its campus recruiting initiatives and highlighted its new brand after separating from its parent company, ConocoPhillips in 2013.

Day One Takeaways:

  • Avoid the “one-size-fits-all” approach when looking to build a relationship with your state workforce agency; each state has a different way of working with employers.
  • Every job listing starts with a great write up. Tie that write up to your company’s mission and don’t use the same listing twice.
  • Use your brand to create a powerful story that resonates with the job seekers you are trying to target.

Day Two

Rosemary Cox of Peoplefluent at DEAM14.

Workshop C began Thursday with Peoplefluent’s Rosemary Cox as she discussed tips and exercises to help hiring managers understand revisions to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as how to overcome fears of hiring individuals with disabilities.

Kristy Seidel of Hyatt and Seth Flater of DirectEmployers.

Next up, attendees packed the house to listen to DirectEmployers’ Seth Flater and Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s Kristy Seidel discuss how Hyatt used .JOBS to create one central platform for their diversity hiring campaigns. Seth incorporated his analytical perspective to describe the strategy and “nerdy” data supporting Hyatt’s decisions. He also touched on DirectEmployers’ new tool, the Partner Relationship Manager (PRM), and how it helps track partner outreach.

Tom Poole of Vantiv speaking with DEAM14 attendee.

The final concurrent session featured Vantiv’s Tom Poole. As a recipient of a 2013 Member Award, Tom spoke to the challenges Vantiv faced prior to using social media as a means of recruitment. He also explained how social recruiting has helped increase visibility of postings and better reach both internal and external candidates. Tom went on to say that three years after implementing this social recruiting approach, Vantiv was able to increase applicant volume from 5,000 to 30,0000 with no increases to their recruitment budget.

Day Two Takeaways:

  • Find “champions” from within your own company that will encourage others to help cultivate an inclusive workforce.
  • Use .JOBS to help expand the online visibility of your employment brand and SEO power, as well as a way to showcase your diverse hiring needs.
  • The key to an innovative and highly social recruiting model is to maintain momentum and candidate engagement and don’t forget to track your results every step of the way.

Every session was very well attended at DEAM14 and we thank each of our presenters for sharing their successes and insight into their organization’s practices. We truly appreciate the time you took to not only present, but also attend the full conference and support your peers. If your organization is a Member of the Association, each of the presentations from DEAM14 can be viewed or downloaded in Pipeline.

While we’ve called a wrap on DEAM14 activities, we’re already gearing up for our 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM15), May 13-15 in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you missed out on presenting or if you’d like to present again, make sure to fill out our call-for-presenters form located at http://DEAM15.DirectEmployers.org by August 1, 2014 to have your presentation viewed by our Program Committee.

DEAM14 Sees Record-Breaking Turnout

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

OFCCP compliance has been weighing heavily on the minds of federal contractors since the Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) were issued back in 2011. DirectEmployers Association realized it only made sense to schedule the 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) near Washington, D.C. the week of March 24 – when the new Section 503 and VEVRAA regulations went into effect.

Historically the DirectEmployers Annual Meeting & Conference has taken place in the fall, but despite having half the time to plan and promote, DEAM14 had a record-breaking turnout including DirectEmployers’ Member Companies, and 82 partners, 11 underwriters, 17 non-profits/governement organizations and 15 states: Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, Virginia, Washington State, North Dakota and Montana.

PRE-CONFERENCE ACTIVITIES
While the conference portion of DEAM14 ran March 26-27, several significant activities took place on Tuesday, March 25.

Veterans Connect Career Fair attendees waiting to check-in.

After a successful debut in 2013, the Veterans Connect Career Fair (VCCF) returned. Even though snowy weather conditions created less-than-desirable traffic, nearly 200 attendees still came out to the event for the opportunity to network with employers like Intel, United Airlines, ABB and more. Resumes were collected and emailed to participating employers for an opportunity to further analyze each job seeker’s skill set.

In addition to the VCCF, DirectEmployers’ partner, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), hosted an Employer Regulatory Summit to focus on what has been happening in Washington, D.C. and the critical issues impacting the university relations and recruitment profession. DirectEmployers Members were invited and several took advantage of the unique opportunity.

The DirectEmployers Board of Directors meeting.

The “Annual Meeting” component of DEAM14, which encapsulates the Board of Directors meeting, introduced the newly elected members for the ensuing year and discussed the operations and plans for the Association. Rhonda Stickley, SPHR, was welcomed back as President for the 2014-2015 term. In addition, the National Labor Exchange (NLx) Operations and Recruitment Regulatory Compliance Committee (RRCC) held afternoon meetings.

That evening, attendees packed into the Welcome Reception to mingle and explore the Demo Hall. Mirroring the same approach as DEAM13, exhibiting companies were encouraged to focus on educating attendees on new technologies and trends in lieu of the hard sell atmosphere of traditional industry conferences.

The Demo Hall also featured a team of DirectEmployers’ staff providing live demos and answering questions around the Partner Relationship Manager (PRM), the newest Member benefit designed to assist with tracking outreach efforts and measuring effectiveness with partners on the local level.

After pre-conference festivities, attendees either called it a day or took advantage of the close proximity to the nation’s capital to tour historic monuments and surroundings.

DAY ONE
Wednesday morning started bright and early. After breakfast, participants gathered in the Regency Ballroom for a morning of general sessions. President Rhonda Stickley began with welcome remarks then turned it over to VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers to fulfill DEAM14 emcee duties for the rest of the conference.

Bill Warren presenting Rich Hobbie of NASWA with the DirectEmployers 2014 WOW Award.

The presentation of the WOW Award was next. This year’s recipient was Rich Hobbie, Executive Director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). The WOW Award is given annually by DirectEmployers Association to recognize individuals who are driving technology and innovation in the human resources field, in addition to giving back to the community. The award is named to honor the legacy of Executive Director William O. Warren.

Tom Eckhart of DirectEmployers Association, Rosa Coppedge of Sodexo and Beth Ronnenburg of Berkshire Associates then joined Candee on stage for the first formal general session, which was an in-depth analysis on newly required data elements for VEVRAA and Section 503. Step-by-step guidance on the data collection process for veteran and IWD AAPs in addition to action items needed to maintain compliance was provided.

Employment law expert John C. Fox followed with his keynote address, which focused on pivotal moments that led up to the current state of employment law. Civil Rights protestors climbing the unfinished Gateway Arch in 1964, Section 503’s fruition during the Nixon Administration, and the treatment of Vietnam Era Veterans were just a few of the historical turning points John covered as he reached the present day state of affairs.

With a career that includes over 300 days of trial, and a previous role as Executive Assistant to the Director of the OFCCP, John’s unique experience and in-depth knowledge, mixed with his sense of humor, made a traditionally dry topic quite entertaining!

Annette Rosta of KPMG discussing the benefit of being involved with DirectEmployers Association.

After a half hour break, attendees returned and listened to Social Media Manager Katie Pfledderer as she gave a brief overview of the Member-exclusive online community Pipeline. Annette Rosta of KPMG then discussed how her involvement with DirectEmployers has been rewarding both professionally and personally. In both segments, emphasis was put on how actively engaging with DirectEmployers creates a positive impact in many ways, including the products and services developed by the DirectEmployers Product Development team. To demonstrate the correlation, the product roadmap was shared through a whiteboard video illustrated by Jason Sole, Director of Production.

During the next segment, Jonathan Rosenberg, Manager of Talent Planning and Acquisition for Phillips 66 and VP of Digital Strategy, Heather Hoffman, examined how a .JOBS digital strategy helped Phillips 66 reach 47,000 conversions through a holistic approach that included targeted niche sites, a military skills translator and an events platform. More impressive was the fact that it was all accomplished while unhinging the tech department from recruiting.

Jason Sole and AJ Selvey unveiling PRM.

AJ Selvey, Assistant VP of Member Services, unveiled the Partner Relationship Manager (PRM) with the help of Katie Pfledderer and Jason Sole. The new VEVRAA and Section 503 regs require federal contractors to build meaningful relationships with diversity, disability, veteran, women and other minority organizations. Tracking all of this information and demonstrating effectiveness is a critical component and PRM was designed after to streamline this process by providing a single location to enter, access and store the data. A specific use case scenario between a recruiter and vet rep was enacted by AJ and Katie, with narration by Jason, to illustrate how PRM could be used. PRM was well-received by Members, and attendees could get a first-hand look at the PRM in the Demo Hall.

DEAM14 attendees networking during the evening reception.

Presenters from organizations such as UnitedHealth Group, Intel, Virginia Employment Commission, NASWA, EEOC and Cornell University spent the rest of the afternoon sharing their expertise through concurrent sessions covering a wide breadth of topics including: diversity sourcing, veteran hiring, state workforce agencies, EEOC’s enforcement plan, talent communities, branding and disability outreach.

An evening reception gave attendees the opportunity to unwind and venture back into the Demo Hall for more learning and networking.

DAY TWO
Thursday started with more concurrent workshops. Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services, AlliedBarton Security Services, OfficeMax, Hyatt, Charles Schwab, Sodexo and the National Organization on Disability were just a few of the many great organizations sharing valuable knowledge with DEAM14 participants.

Partnership between Hiring Our Heroes, NASWA and DirectEmployer being announced.

Attendees reconvened in a general session as Jennifer Giering of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shared how Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) assists with OFCCP required outreach. Jennifer shared that HOH documented 22,000 hires last year due to outreach and that one million veterans will transition into the civilian workforce over the next 3-5 years. In addition, HOH announced a new partnership with DirectEmployers and NASWA. Through this partnership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program will be provided with an innovative way to utilize job listings through the National Labor Exchange.

The conference ended on a high note as disability advocate John Robinson received a standing ovation for his keynote address. Born a congenital amputee, he has no hands. In addition, his arms stop at his elbows and his lower legs are attached to his hips without knees. He educated the audience through sharing his own life experiences and interactions. One of his stories was about a colleague who didn’t know how to shake his hand. “Squeeze my arm like you care,” was John’s response. He reminded the room of employers that people with a disability are built-in problem solvers. John serves as Managing Partner and CEO of Our Ability, a company owned and operated by People with Disabilities to support People with Disabilities. Our Ability offers services to connect people with disabilities, as well as veterans with employers, to proactively prepare them for the workforce. “Often times opportunities are disguised as challenges,” was the message that resonated the most. After his presentation, John signed copies of his book and took photos with DEAM14 attendees.

John Robinson during his keynote address at DEAM14.

Our sincerest thank you to all of our Members, partners, supporters and staff that helped plan our record-breaking event in record time. Read more about the concurrent sessions at DirectEmployers.org/blogs or read through the DEAM14 chatter on social media using the #DEAM14 hashtag. Members can access DEAM14 presentations on Pipeline. Photos are also available at http://app.ly/DEAM14 (case sensitive).

DEAM15 will take place May 13-15, 2015 in Indianapolis and we are currently looking for presenters who would like to showcase their expertise and experience. Submit your proposal to speak by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DEAM15callforpresenters. More information and registration is available at http://DEAM15.DirectEmployers.org.

OFCCP Compliance, Disability Inclusion, EEOC Strategic Plan & More | Takeaways from DEAM14 Track

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Despite the quick turnaround from DEAM13, the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference (DEAM14) was better than we could have imagined! With record attendance, amazing presenters, and several chances to network and mingle, this year’s conference was the best yet. Along with the general sessions, our agenda gave attendees the opportunity to choose three concurrent sessions each day, ultimately tailoring their conference experience to suit their specific interests.

While each track didn’t have one particular focus, a number of the sessions were submitted and approved for HRCI credit, adding even more benefit for attendees. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and key takeaways from Concurrent Workshop A.

Day One

Rosaly Morsheimer and Angie Grilliot of UnitedHealth Group presenting at DEAM14.

After an amazing keynote speech from employment law attorney John C. Fox and a quick lunch break, everyone parted ways to attend the sessions of their choice. First up in Concurrent A were Angie Grilliot and Rosaly Morsheimer of UnitedHealth Group as they outlined their geographically based strategic sourcing plans that focused on underutilization and outreach for compliance. Attendees of this session were given examples of how to apply their AAP information to their talent acquisition strategy as well as why they should document and track sourcing activity for compliance purposes.

Next up, Tracy Hudson Spicer of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) spoke to the commission’s strategic plan in regards to social media and arrest and conviction record usage by employers and it’s effect on the laws that they enforce. This included the top 5 rules and trends for social media and employment law, as well as a quick fact/myth game with drink tickets for the evening’s networking reception as the prize for the first to answer correctly.

Tracy Hudson Spicer of the EEOC presenting at DEAM14.

A quick “retro break” complete with root beer, popcorn and old fashioned candies preceded the day’s final session led by Meg O’Connell and Deb Russell of Global Disability Inclusion. In this presentation, the two elaborated on the benefits of hiring from the disability community (comprising 19% of the U.S. population), as well as the record keeping and tracking requirements established through the new changes to Section 503.

Key Takeaways:

  • Building relationships and documenting interactions is key to the success of having a comprehensive and compliant diversity strategy
  • The problem with social media in employment law lies not in the use of social media channels but what the recruiter does with the information that they learn.
  • A disability employment program is fully evolved when it is able to successfully leverage the fullest talents and usable skills of those with disabilities

Day Two

James Pierce of Piercing Strategies and David Scheffler of Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services presenting at DEAM14.

James Pierce of Piercing Strategies and David Scheffler of Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services kicked off day two with an engaging session on the major changes of VEVRAA and Section 503, including the benchmarks and outreach that fall on the employer in order to be compliant.

Second in line was DirectEmployers Member Sheryl Von Westernhagen of OfficeMax and corporate disability consultant, James Emmett. In this inspirational and energetic presentation, the two discussed the development of a disability and inclusion strategy, as well as best practices for making it work for both the organization and their employees with disabilities.

DirectEmployers Member Sheryl Von Westernhagen of OfficeMax and corporate disability consultant James Emmett presenting at DEAM14.

Prior to lunch on day two, Concurrent A ended with DirectEmployers’ very own VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers. Known for her knowledge and experience with OFCCP compliance and successes with the audit process as a former employer, Candee detailed the changes put in place by the Final Rule and how employers can realign their strategies to remain compliant.

 

 

 

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Your recruitment processes should first change as regulations and audit focus changes, then flow to your ATS and other technologies
  • The four pillars of Future Disability & Inclusion are: Stakeholder Buy-In, Financial Sustainability, Messaging and Engagement and Partnership
  • Outreach, outreach, outreach!

DirectEmployers VP of Compliance & Partnerships Candee Chambers presenting at DEAM14.

Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers; we truly appreciate you taking the time to share your stories, experience, and successes with our attendees! Members, keep in mind that you have access to all of the presentation slides in Pipeline. We encourage you to revisit the sessions you attended, take a look at some of the sessions you missed, and print copies for future reference. Stayed tuned for track B and C highlights!

 

 

 

Interested in presenting at DEAM15? We are now accepting speaking proposals! Visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DEAM15callforpresenters to submit your proposal! 

Getting Started with PRM – New Member Benefit from DirectEmployers to Assist with OFCCP Compliance

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The new OFCCP regulations that went into effect March 24, 2014 for VEVRAA and Section 503 require federal contractors to build meaningful relationships with diversity, disability, veteran, women and other minority organizations. This also means recording communications and exchanges with those partners and demonstrating outreach effectiveness.

PRM

Dee Anne Faller and Jason Sole showing Members the PRM during DEAM14.

DirectEmployers Association designed a new tool to help Members streamline this process by providing a single location to enter, access and store this data, regardless of their device or location. This new tool, called Partner Relationship Manager (PRM), was officially unveiled recently at the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference.

The PRM is included with DirectEmployers Association membership, which means our Members don’t need to purchase or maintain additional services to assist them with tracking outreach efforts. This tool will help Members by:

  • Easily working with national and local partners from within a single tool.
  • Simplify maintaining partner contacts and tracking outreach efforts.
  • Providing an economical alternative to other tools.
  • Recording details regarding hiring activity from a partner organization or contact within a partner organization.
  • Running reports that capture the outreach efforts and their effectiveness – from one platform.

Over the next several months we will roll out tutorials, a user guide and schedule training sessions. To get started with PRM, please follow these two steps:

  1. Create an account on My.jobs at: https://secure.my.jobs/
  2. Email or call your Membership Development Representative to request activation of the employer functionality of your My.jobs account – if you’re not sure who your point of contact is, please email PRM@DirectEmployers.org

Members can view the DEAM14 presentation about PRM on Pipeline. We also set up a PRM forum for Members to post feedback or additional questions. Please don’t hesitate to post there or contact your Membership Development representative.

DEAM14 Brings Knowledge, Networking and Actionable Information

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The Veterans Connect Career Fair and DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) took place March 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Both events were a huge success and DEAM14 had record-breaking attendance!

We’ll be sharing all of the great information and best practices from the conference over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our recap video for DEAM14 highlights and to hear what some attendees had to say about the event:

View more event highlights from our DEAM14 photos on Flickr. Registration is open now for DEAM15, taking place May 13-15, 2015. Learn more at: http://DEAM15.DirectEmployers.org.

A New Way to Recruit College and Graduate Students with Disabilities

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The following press release was authored by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) and was originally posted on March 20, 2014.

Private-sector employers can now use WRP.jobs, a no-cost online job board, to find pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities looking for internships and permanent positions.

Employers can post single jobs or elect to connect all appropriate college-level job vacancies to WRP.jobs. Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) candidates looking for entry-level, career-track positions or professional internship opportunities can view and apply for positions. Candidates represent all majors and include graduate and law students, as well as veterans. WRP.jobs directs applicants to employers’ career pages and applicant tracking systems.

The WRP is a government-wide program co-sponsored by the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor to increase employment of people with disabilities in the federal workforce by providing a pipeline of qualified and highly motivated candidates. Each year, trained WRP recruiters from federal agencies interview college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are looking for internships and permanent positions. Qualified candidates are added to the WRP database, which has been shared with WRP.jobs.

The WRP.jobs portal for non-federal employers is a pilot project developed through an innovative partnership between EARN and DirectEmployers Association.

To access WRP.jobs, employers can visit www.AskEARN.org and click “Request WRP Candidates” to register.

For more information or to post jobs, visit http://askearn.org/#refdesk/Recruitment/WRP.

OFCCP Welcomes DirectEmployers Association & Helps Dispel Misinformation Surrounding Revisions to VEVRAA and Section 503

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

DirectEmployers Association had the unique opportunity to work with key personnel in the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to conduct a listening session exclusively for Members. Moderated by employment law expert John C. Fox, senior partner at Fox, Wang & Morgan, P.C., this session featured the OFCCP’s Patricia Shiu, Director; Debra Carr, Director, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development; and Naomi Levin, Branch Chief for Policy Development and Procedures, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development.

John C. Fox, Tom Eckhart, me and Candee Chambers meeting up at the OFCCP prior to the listening session.

Since the majority of the almost 700 Member companiesof DirectEmployers Association are federal contractors, it only makes sense to work closely with the OFCCP. The goal for this session was to help dispel any misinformation that surrounds the OFCCP’s revisions to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – which is significant for federal contractors so they can adjust their individual compliance strategies before the implementation date of March 24, 2014.

DirectEmployers Association, as well as several of our Member company representatives, received an incredible welcome at the OFCCP in Washington D.C. I had the privilege of attending in person, and was truly honored when we walked in the door to see a professionally printed welcome sign in the Department of Labor’s lobby, outside the door of the meeting room AND in the meeting room. (Thank you to Bernard for these signs and the warm welcome!)

About 10 of our Member companies were represented in person including Hilton, KPMG, Sodexo, Marriott, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Citizens Financial Group. In addition, over 300 of our Members eagerly participated by dialing-in to the session and listening via phone.

Candee Chambers, VP of Compliance and Partnerships for DirectEmployers Association kicked off the listening session by thanking Patricia Shiu, Debra Carr and Naomi Levin for hosting the listening session. Candee stated, “I think everyone realizes what these regulations mean for all of us and I think everyone’s nervous about getting it right and I think this is a great opportunity to help us do that.”

John C. Fox acted as moderator by asking questions that were submitted by Member companies prior to the listening session. John encouraged the participants to ask their questions as well.

“Thank you Candee both to those on the line and those here in the room today, we have several hundred attendees joining us. I’m delighted to be here for this very special meeting with OFCCP and DirectEmployers at the OFCCP,” stated John. “I just want to say this is extraordinary, this group and this administration getting together with the contractor community and to listen and adapt to the regulatory environment and the way you do business.”

John began by sharing two observations regarding what’s different about OFCCP today than when he roamed the halls two decades ago. “I remember being in this room many, many times, and there are two things that really commend the wisdom that Pat has demonstrated about having a listening session. The first thing that dawned on me is that industry is much more diverse and much more complicated than it ever was. This is really a challenge for a regulator. Today there are over a hundred industries, so Pat has to deal with that in a way that her predecessors never had to deal with, and it’s much more complex,” stated John. “The last five years it’s gotten so much more competitive in the marketplace that you all are doing business in ways you’ve never done before. And that’s the second thing that I think is different for Pat and Debra and Naomi as they confront regulations and how they address the regulated community, and that is HR is so thin right now. I’ve never seen HR as thin as it is today. Particularly, the last four or five years, you’re being asked to do more with less and often to do much with nothing. And Naomi and Debra, and Pat are aware of that and very sensitive to that issue and that’s why they want to listen to some of your concerns about how you will integrate the new regulations,” continued Fox.

Candee with Member Rosa Coppedge of Sodexo.

Pat Shiu stated, “Before I turn it over to Debra and Naomi, I wanted to thank my staff, especially Debra and Naomi who worked for four long, hard grueling years to bring this over the finish line along with everybody here at the Department of Labor.I also wanted to say that we very much, at OFCCP, appreciated all of your comments. And I hope that you know we took them to heart and we analyzed them over and over and had lots of discussions about them, and tried to balance a lot of competing demands. But when it came right down to it, what we decided was really important, the aspirational goals, the benchmarks, the accountability and the metrics. And two very wise women suggested to me that what business needed was flexibility.” Pat continued, “Give us the flexibility to do what’s best for our industry, our company to get there. Don’t tell us how to get there. That seemed to me to make a lot of sense and it really guided what we did in the final rule. But as with all other decisions here at the Department of Labor, they are evidence-based decisions, based on metrics, so this will be an exercise where you all will be collecting data and we will be collecting data for the first time to really see how we can achieve our mutual goal,” Shiu concluded.

John went on to ask the questions by topic, beginning with the general questions regarding preparations for the implementation date of March 24 – the date that the regulations become legally final. After that, he moved to the question of listing of jobs with the employment delivery service system (ESDS), while addressing some self-identification questions. Understanding it could be a runaway train, he had to limit the time spent on them. Here’s a recap of the key questions addressed by the OFCCP:

John: As Director of Policy Division can you give the audience a sense of how many employees you have working on the regs?

Debra: Not enough. So all this work, the FAQs, the writing of the regs, all the listening sessions, all the creation on our website now about resources available for outreach recruitment, change in corporate culture, best practices around disability issues in the workplace, how to recruit, attract and retain, veterans, all that work is really done by a very small staff. So in my division, as we print out the regs, we’re talking about 20 people. And those 20 people don’t all work on the regs. The actual work on the regs is done by me, Naomi, [and] one other staff member will help along the way with some others. We just kind of shuffle the chairs on a sinking ship. So, day-to-day basis, doing all this work, we’re talking three to four people.

John: When do you think you might have new FAQs – is there some sort of schedule or just whenever?

Debra: We were aiming to do FAQs on a rolling basis every couple of weeks. That has slowed because we’re doing more conversations, we have lists that we’re queuing up and we hope to get cleared next week, and even that process of rolling out an FAQ is not as easy as it may seem. We have conversations, we have meetings, phone calls we make choices about what needs to be on the short list, Naomi and I will start writing, we’ll flip back and forth, we listen to solicitors, they get to bless and clear, we keep Pat informed, we touch base with our colleagues in the operations side of the house.

John: It sounds like between now and March 24 we should look for a rollout of FAQs, we should look for more content-based webinars.

Debra: Yes and let me add two more things that we’re doing to help position you that you should be aware of. We have heard some contractors say they don’t know where the resources are for outreach and recruitment, they don’t know how to develop relationships with the organizations that would help them in that area, and so on our website we put up probably a month ago, some resources on those topics. We’re also working with VETS in DOL for more resources for veteran recruitment

John: I hope everyone is aware that VETS–the Veterans Employment Training Service–is another assistant secretary down the hall from OFCCP with whom OFCCP works closely on veteran’s issues.

Debra: And we’ve been working with the office of disability employment policy to shore up the information that we provide to you on disability rights in the workplace issues, and we’ve been working with our communications and outreach folks to enhance that employment resources referral directory that’s been on our website forever and ever and ever because we’ve heard some of you say that it’s not useful. You go and take a lead and it’s a dead lead. So we’ve worked on clearing that out. It is not perfect, but it’s better and it should get better as we move forward and it will be better the more I hear from you about how it’s working.

The last thing that I will say is our overall approach to working with you has shifted. This period of when we implement and train and support you in regulatory implementation is all about helping you succeed. In order to do that we came to you in a very constructive way and I think that’s what you should be experiencing. So to the extent that you have anxiety about what’s going to happen on March 24, what will happen after I do my first AAP, will I get this exactly right…I said before and I’ll say today, this is a transition for us all. So your first encounter with us on the first day is not going to be like you have to have all the I’s dotted and all the t’s crossed or else. No, all we want to do is go in and engage you, figure out what you have done, what you have not been able to do, give you assistance, to work with you, to get you where you need to be. We know there are going to be data limitations, so what we’re trying to do is work with you. You’ve got to demonstrate that you’ve done something, you can’t sit on your hands and say I just didn’t know what to do. This is a different approach to policy and to enforcement under these new regs.

Candee and Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), outside of the listening session meeting room.

Naomi: I will just say if you miss any of our webinar trainings we are posting them after they are done so you can always go back and find them and listen to them and even watch them if you need them because they are resources and the questions that we get during webinars, we go through them, I go through them and look for good candidates for FAQs that we’ve seen over and over and we’ll go to Debra and say this issue keeps coming up a lot, maybe we need to sit down and develop an FAQ around it. Not only use those to train you, but to get information to help us help you again, kinda full circle.

John: Very helpful. If we could turn the discussion to job listings, now who in the employment service delivery system will see the job listings? 

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