On February 23, 2016, America’s Job Exchange (AJE) co-hosted a webinar with Jackson Lewis on ‘A Comprehensive Outreach Plan for OFCCP Compliance.’ The webinar was very well received with more than 600 in attendance and there were several important and relevant questions posed to the panelists.
Laura Mitchell, Partner, Jackson Lewis, and Gary Cowan, Director of Compliance, America’s Job Exchange (AJE), were the speakers and they covered two important topics:
- Effective veteran outreach for OFCCP compliance and
- AJE’s Outreach Management System – a tool available for customers to record outreach activities easily and in a central location
The webinar was timely and relevant to our audience, comprising mostly of HR and EEO professionals engaged in OFCCP compliance in their organizations as well as professionals from state and community based organizations. Mitchell kicked off the webinar by highlighting the webinar objectives:
- What are the outreach obligations set forth by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) after March 24, 2014?
- How have these obligations changed from what they were before?
- How do you conduct good faith outreach?
- What to expect in a compliance review
Federal contractors, said Mitchell, have always had an obligation to “Undertake appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities . . . that are reasonably designed to effectively recruit protected veterans.” Historically, employers had to “take affirmative action,” but didn’t need to track data, implement veteran self- identification requirements, keep records, identify problem areas nor conduct statistical analyses and develop plans to address identified problem areas.
In 2012, the unemployment rate for veterans was 9.5%. Since then, it has gone down to 5% (current) due to the efforts of employers.
Mitchell indicated that OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu believes, however, that a lot more work needs to be done in this area. Shiu has proclaimed “What gets measured gets done,” stating we need to start measuring, having benchmarks, pulling data, collecting data, analyzing data to hold our employers accountable for their actions towards the veterans. Subsequently, data becomes very important to analyze the return on investment. Mitchell emphasized that it is not just about the” push out” to third parties to list jobs but now the “ pull In” is much more crucial. In other words, what are employers doing locally to demonstrate outreach? What partnerships have they developed? What are employers getting back as responses? How many referrals are they getting? How many veterans are they hiring? How effective are the sources in terms of providing viable veteran candidates? Federal contractors have to keep records of all outreach they’re conducting to ensure that veterans do get hired and that they are taking focused measures to make veteran hiring their mission. Bottom line: how many veterans are being hired as a result of employer efforts needs to be documented.
In addition to the insight provided by Mitchell regarding the requirements and expectations around effective outreach, Gary Cowan, Director of Compliance, America’s Job Exchange, provided an overview of the America’s Job Exchange Outreach Management Tool available to customers to record all of their outreach efforts effectively and in one location. The America’s Job Exchange Outreach Management Tool provides a platform for customers to quickly access contacts over 6200 outreach partners to identify local organizations as well as the ability to document all activity.
For more information on the webinar click here.
America’s Job Exchange is committed to bringing quarterly webinars to its customers. To learn about our OFCCP compliance solution check out this video.
Till next time!