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Show some love for neglected federal contract rules today

Posted by: Gordon on 2/14/2014

1980 called: its time for a change

Laura Barrett's blog about today's action, re-posted from Rooflines.org

On Valentine’s Day, job seekers and organizers will deliver candy and flowers to local and state officials, contractors associations and other stakeholders.

Their goal: change federal regulations to get construction firms to create more jobs for lower-income women and people of color to build the innovative public transit, water treatment and other projects that address the nation’s infrastructure deficit and prepare the country for climate change.

Plannerscivil engineers, business leaders, and others estimate the U.S. needs to invest billions (or $3.6 trillion by 2020 in the case of the American Society of Civil Engineers) in the country’s infrastructure to update our country’s bridges, roads and transit, water and sewer systems in the coming decade. Increased job training can insure improved infrastructure also creates more opportunities for everyone, Gamaliel advocates say. Because federal dollars typically bankroll such projects, federal contracting rules cover work done."Sign our petition

The Office of Federal Contracts and Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the Department of Labor, one of the targets of the Valentine's action, has taken a step in the right direction earlier this year.  They  issued controversial regulations that will force federal contractors to ask people with disabilities to self-identify.  The regulations also task contractors to stop discrimination and to make accomodations.

Advocates believe that it is essential to monitor these new regulations that will move people with disabilities into jobs. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that “8 out of 10 people with developmental disabilities is not in the labor market.” That 80% unemployment rate has not changed for over the last 10 years for the over 5 million Americans with developmental disabilities (severe lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities that occur at birth or before age 22) according to Tim Hornbecker of the Arc of Alameda County.

We have a chance to move all kinds of people into employment this year - by enforcing the great changes that the OFFCP has already made to move people with disabilities in to work and through changing outdated workforce regulations that will open federally funded jobs to low income people, minorities and women.  

President Obama, tear up that outdated regulation and get DOL and HUD working on new regulations that will help communities get back to work!


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