With the publishing of the new OFCCP regulations, compliance was a major focus of the DirectEmployers 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference. We knew our Members would arrive in San Diego with questions and concerns, and were prepared with a half day of general sessions devoted to the subject, in addition to a track of concurrent sessions led by field experts.

After a day of general sessions and a delicious lunch by the pool, attendees returned to the conference center for breakout sessions of their choosing. The first session was a panel discussion comprised of winners of our inaugural Member Awards Competition. After taking questions from the audience and receiving their awards, attendees moved on to the next session of the afternoon.

First up were DirectEmployers’ very own Digital Strategists, Ronda Johnson and Steven Apostolidis, as they delved into diversity outreach and how the .JOBS top-level domain (TLD) can assist in the hiring of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. In their presentation, Ronda and Steven stressed how ‘good faith efforts’ are no longer enough, making initiatives like the .JOBS Diversity Outreach Solution a great tool for federal contractors to add to their compliance toolbox.

Key Takeaways:

  • .JOBS has Diversity Outreach Solutions available.
  • Over 100 companies have adopted a Veterans Crosswalk.
  • Google has 67% of the search engine market share.

For the last concurrent session of the day, Qualcomm’s Gerry Borja and Vanessa Jones presented on veteran outreach, another hot topic among employers. They took time to discuss their veteran integration program with the idea that it’s not just about accommodating the regulations, but about helping people. With a thorough overview of their ‘QCIP – Warriors’ program, attendees were left inspired to develop their own outreach programs within the allotted resources and budget.

Key Takeaways:

  • San Diego is home to the nation’s largest number of veterans returning from wartime duty. (2/15/11)
  • Veterans need assistance transitioning into the workplace as more return from active duty.
  • It is about helping people, note all about statistics.

Participants during DEAM13 compliance track session.

The compliance track on day two kicked off with a presentation centered on the National Labor Exchange (NLx)–a partnership between DirectEmployers and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)–and its role in helping federal contractors become compliant in the eyes of the OFCCP. This role was further confirmed by Members such as Tipton Bradford of IHG, who gave a summary of how the partnership has successfully supplemented their compliance strategy, as well as confirmation from representatives of various state workforce agencies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Since the 2009 presidential inauguration, the OFCCP has reviewed nearly 19,000 federal contractor establishments.
  • IHG has been affiliated with DirectEmployers since March of 2007.
  • The NLx is a cost effective solution for IHG (since they have hotels and offices in multiple states) to help the company achieve a diverse workforce.

Next was a premiere presentation by James Emmett of the Poses Family Foundation regarding its partnership with DirectEmployers Association and their mission to help Members create custom solutions that help satisfy Section 503 requirements. In this session James explained not only the legal reasons to hire individuals with disabilities, but also the ethical reasons to do so, and gave an insightful, albeit high-level, overview of what it takes to do it right.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense for many reasons including: lower turnover, fewer absences, good performance, untapped labor pool.
  • A “disability friendly” environment encourages employees to disclose & request needed supports.
  • The disability community is the fastest growing labor and customer niche market in this country.

The final concurrent session was a panel discussion moderated by DirectEmployers’ VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers, joined by members of the Recruitment Regulatory Compliance Committee (RRCC). Tasked with keeping members informed of the OFCCP’s regulatory changes, panel participants addressed the recent changes, shared best practices, and discussed how the NLx helps satisfy the regulations through job delivery. We are still in the process of transcribing the Q&A from the discussion, which will be provided exclusively to Members through the Pipeline.

We hope that all of our attendees had the chance to get their questions answered, and walked away with a game plan for tackling the new regulations before their effective date of March 24, 2014. We are also excited to be hosting the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) that very same week in Washington, D.C., with another strong compliance focus.

Want to take a closer look at these presentations or view photos from the event? Our Members can find it all in the Pipeline.

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