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!

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