Monday, April 14, 2014

he DOL Newsletter - April 10, 2014: Connecting Youth toCareers; Strengthening Apprenticeships Paying a Fair Wage Is Smart Business

United States Department of Labor
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April 10, 2014Bookmark and Share
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By The NumbersBy The Numbers: 9 out of 10
dislocated workers who participated in training were still employed 6 months
Work In Progress: The Best of
Our Blog
Each week, this space will bring you the best from our (Work in Progress) blog.
A Week of Action: Living on the Minimum Wage: Guest blogger Ann Pratt, executive director of the Progressive States Network, recounts Connecticut state Sen. Gary Holder-Winfield's attempt to live on a minimum wage budget. Connecticut recently became the first state to increase its minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Baseball and Work-Life Balance: Laura Fortman, principal deputy administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, weighs in on New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy's decision to take family leave for the birth of his son.
Mining's Changing Culture — 4 Years After UBB: Four years after 29 miners were killed at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main assesses how the agency's numerous actions in its wake have led to a changing culture in the mining industry.
DOL A to Z
F: Fair Labor Standards Act
This week's phrase is I for ILO. The United States is a member of the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency that promotes rights at work; quality employment; strong social protection programs; and productive dialogue among governments, employers and workers. The department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs serves as the lead agency to the ILO.
Learning Is Lifelong
'I think skills is America's
sleeper issue.  It hasn't gotten the attention it needs,' Secretary Perez said
in his keynote address at the National Journal's 'Points of Leverage'
Conference. View the slideshow for more images and captions.
Serving as the keynote speaker for the National Journal's "Points of Leverage" conference on April 8, Secretary Perez focused on investments cultivated throughout a worker's life cycle. Ron Brownstein, Atlantic Media's editorial director, moderated the discussion, during which Perez elaborated on the Department of Labor's role throughout the many stages of life. Whether it's providing skills through apprenticeships, Youth CareerConnect, TAACCCT or American Job Centers, the department plays a critical role in training individuals of all ages and at different points in their career. "We're doing our best to strengthen and lift up the remarkable possibilities of apprenticeship in America... There is a bright future for people who work with their hands," Perez told the audience of about 100 people. He added that "skills development is lifelong" and community colleges play a critical role in "upskilling" the country's workforce.
New Rule Is Making a Difference
Secretary Perez delivers
remarks at the University of the District of Columbia's David A. Clarke School
of Law Review Symposium 'Overcoming Barriers to Economic Opportunity in America
Today: Renewing the War on Poverty Fifty Years Later.' View the slideshow for
more images and captions.
Drawing a link between his civil rights background and his responsibilities as labor secretary, Secretary Perez delivered the capstone address at the University of the District of Columbia's Law Review Symposium on April 4, recognizing the 50th anniversary of the "war on poverty." Perez highlighted several areas where the department is working to fight poverty and economic inequality: the minimum wage, overtime, equal pay for women and long-term unemployment. He also spoke with pride about the new rule guaranteeing wage protections for home health care workers: "The home health workers are great examples of why I love my job. Because it's not that often that you come home, you talk to my 11-year-old and he says, 'Dad, what did you do today?' 'Well, I helped a couple million people get a raise.'"
Focus on Trafficking in Persons
President Obama's Interagency Taskforce to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons held its annual meeting on April 8 at the White House, and Secretary Perez attended on behalf of the Labor Department. The meeting was chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry and included several senior administration officials and Cabinet members, including White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough; Secretaries Sally Jewell (Interior), Anthony Foxx (Transportation) and Jeh Johnson (Homeland Security); Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; USAID Administrator Rajiv J. Shah; EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien; and Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Perez spoke about his long experience with trafficking, and the great progress he has seen since his days as a young trial attorney at a time when almost nobody was talking about it. He stressed the importance of working with federal partners, state enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations and foreign governments to address this complex issue.
'Disability Matters' Conference
OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu
addresses the Disability Matters North America conference. Click for a larger
More than 200 corporate executives gathered at Morgan's Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas, for the 2014 Disability Matters conference where, on April 9, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Patricia A. Shiu delivered the keynote address. The annual conference, held at the world's first ultra-accessible family theme park, brings together employers from across North America to discuss best practices for improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Shiu discussed the department's new rule designed to improve employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities by establishing, for the first time ever, a 7 percent employment goal for federal contractors. "This is the story of America," she said. "It's a story of ever-expanding rights, ever-deepening responsibilities and ever-increasing diversity."
Helping Families in Rhode Island
Director of the Women's
Bureau Latifa Lyles (first on left) joined Sen. Jack Reed and equal pay
advocates in Rhode Island to talk about what inequality means for working women
and families. Click for a larger photo.
Last summer, Rhode Island became the third state to pass a law creating a paid leave insurance program. Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles and Regional Administrator Jackie Cooke met with officials of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training's Office of Temporary Disability Insurance on April 7 to learn about the new Temporary Care Insurance program implemented in January. Later that day, Lyles joined Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and the Women's Fund of Rhode Island to deliver a keynote address on what inequality means today for working women and their families. Lyles announced the White House Summit on Working Families, inviting participants to join the regional Summit event in Boston on May 19.
Observing Equal Pay Day
State Rep. Sylvester Turner
(left) and state Rep. Carol Alvarado (right) flank state Rep. Senfronia Thompson
as she responds to questions at an Equal Pay Commemoration event in Houston.
View the slideshow for more images and captions.
This year, Equal Pay Day fell on April 8, which marked the number of additional days in 2014 the average woman has to work to earn as much her male counterpart in 2013. In Houston, Women's Bureau Special Assistant Paulette Lewis joined state Rep. Senfronia Thompson and nearly 150 women's organizations to mark the day. Regional representatives co-hosted an Equal Pay Day event at the University of Missouri to inform women and men of the current wage gap and the importance of economic security. And in Illinois, Women's Bureau Program Analyst Deborah Pascal joined Gov. Pat Quinn at an Equal Pay Day rally in Chicago's Daley Plaza. The rally, hosted by the Chicago Equal Pay Day Coalition, was designed to raise awareness on the issue of equal pay. Similar events were held in Boston and San Francisco.
Alliance for Philippine Nationals
Occupational Safety and
Health Assistant Regional Administrator William Donovan (left) signs an alliance
with Consul General of the Philippines Leo M. Herrera-Lim in Chicago, April 9,
to establish a collaborative relationship to keep workers safe and healthy on
the job. Alliance participants include Philippine nationals employed in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio. Click for a
 larger photo.
The Dallas and Chicago Occupational Safety and Health Administration regional offices signed an alliance with Consul General of the Philippines Leo M. Herrera-Lim recently in Chicago. The goal of the alliance is to establish a collaborative relationship to keep workers safe and healthy on the job by increasing access to education and training resources that promote worker rights and employer knowledge of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Alliance participants include Philippine nationals employed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio. Some of the serious safety and health issues the alliance will focus on involve fall prevention, electrocution, heat illness, exposure to hazardous chemicals and struck-by dangers.
Working Families Forum in Atlanta
Paulette Norvel Lewis,
special assistant, Women's Bureau, introduces the keynote speaker during the
Atlanta Working Families Forum. View the slideshow for more images and
The Women's Bureau, along with several nonprofit organizations, hosted a Working Families Forum in Atlanta on April 10 to discuss pay equality and the challenges encountered by working families. More than 80 people attended the forum, which featured a panel of leaders from the Atlanta community, including Nan Orrock, state senator for Georgia's 36th District, and Carlis V. Williams, regional administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. Williams summed up the theme of the forum by saying, "You shouldn't have to risk your job to take care of your family and you shouldn't have to risk your family to take care of your job."
Planting Seeds in Vermont
From wages to working conditions to housing, the Wage and Hour Division regularly interacts with farmers. To help Vermont farmers and farmworkers get a head start on knowing and understanding their responsibilities and rights, representatives from the division's district and regional offices participated in an April 4 workshop sponsored by the Vermont Farm Bureau. "Navigating Federal Laws on Farm Labor" included presentations on coverage and exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Workers Protection Act; the H-2A visa program; and the division's investigative process. More than 100 representatives from agricultural employers, government, business and advocacy organizations participated. "We're doing a little planting of our own, with our harvest being proper pay and treatment for workers," said WHD District Director Daniel Cronin.
Fostering Inclusive Workplaces
"When it comes to employing qualified workers with disabilities and protected veterans... we're in the business of getting things done," Kathy Martinez said to members of the American Bar Association's Commission on Disability Rights in California on April 9. Martinez, the assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, was referencing recent updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act — both enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs — that will improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities and veterans. In a panel discussion that also covered recent enforcement actions on behalf of Rhode Islanders with intellectual disabilities, Martinez highlighted her agency's work supporting national efforts to promote community-based, integrated employment for people with significant disabilities.
Engaging with Faith Leaders
Participants at Sen. Ben
Cardin's Clergy Summit at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md.
April 4 included: (left to right) Rev. Phil Tom, director, Center for
Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Department of Labor; Marvin Tuner,
director, Department of Housing and Urban Development Washington, D.C. Field
Office; Sen. Ben Cardin; Norah Deluhery, director, Center for Faith-Based and
 Partnerships, Department of Agriculture; Sarah Bard, director, Center for
 Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Small Business Administration; Kelly
Vaughn, director of Community Outreach, Maryland Department of Housing and
Community Development; and Gerald Hinton, Faith-Based liaison, Maryland
Department of Housing and Community Development. Click for a larger photo.
The department played an active part in Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin's recent clergy summit. Phil Tom, director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, encouraged faith leaders at the April 4 gathering to assist job seekers and vulnerable workers. Tom informed summit participants about the department's workforce development and worker protection programs, and urged them to get involved in a way that can help members of their congregations and communities get ahead and stay safe on the job. On April 7, Ben Seigel of the Employment and Training Administration participated in Cardin's grants workshop for nonprofits, encouraging organizational involvement in Department of Labor grants as partners or lead applicants. Several grants currently are open for competition, including Training to Work, YouthBuild and Ready to Work Partnerships.
Creating Paths for Women
Prioritizing gender equity was the focus of a panel held as part of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity's Policy Day on April 9. Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles joined Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of the Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, in discussing the work of their respective departments. Both focused on efforts to ensure strong representation of women and girls in education and training opportunities to prepare them for high-growth, high-wage employment, including apprenticeship and other fields where women have been underrepresented historically, such as in science, technology, engineering and math. "The Women's Bureau and the department have made it a priority to ensure women have access to apprenticeship and other non-traditional training opportunities that will allow them to compete for jobs in the 21st century," Lyles said.
Funding Workforce Training
Eric Seleznow, acting assistant secretary for employment and training, traveled to Delaware on April 8 to attend the meeting of Delaware's Workforce Investment Board. The meeting served as an opportunity for Seleznow to share information about new programs available through federal workforce training funds. Seleznow talked about the importance of innovation in the delivery of training and employment services. Participating in the meeting was Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, representatives of the statewide workforce investment board, and ETA Regional Administrator Lenita Jacobs-Simmons.
Migrant, Seasonal Worker Training
The Wage and Hour Division in San Diego held a Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act's training on April 2 and 3 in Coachella and Imperial, Calif. The Riverside County Farm Bureau, the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association and the Imperial County Farm Bureau hosted the events, with approximately 165 participants in attendance. The training included on-site registrations for farm labor contractors, crew leaders and supervisors.
Increase in Mine Fatality Rates
According to preliminary data released by the Mine Safety and Health Administration on April 10, mining fatality rates increased in 2013. The upswing was driven by a high number of deaths in the fourth quarter, when 15 miners died. In general, mining fatality and injury rates have been on a downward trend. Historically low fatality and injury rates were recorded in 2011, and 2012 fatal and injury rates fell even lower. MSHA will release a final version of calendar year data in July.
Safety Stand-down in Georgia
Construction contractors, the Federal Highway Administration, state and local government, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration partnered for a one-hour safety stand-down at construction sites in Georgia during National Highway Work Zone Awareness Week. From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on April 7-11, workers at construction sites voluntarily took part in work zone safety training focused on preventing worker fatalities and injuries from traffic objects and vehicles. Objects and vehicles striking workers are a leading cause of construction-related deaths. "Alliance members have demonstrated initiative and leadership by organizing this industrywide safety stand-down, which will heighten construction workers' awareness and ability to identify and help eliminate work-related hazards," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator for the Southeast.
Weekly UI Claims
The department reported that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial Unemployment Insurance claims was 300,000 for the week ending April 5, a decrease of 32,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 316,250, down 4,750 from the previous week's revised average.
Upcoming Deadlines & Events
EBSA — Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future Webcast
OFCCP — AAP: Creating an Inclusive Workforce
OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar
OFCCP — Construction Compliance Evaluations in 16 Steps
OFCCP — Everything You Want to Know About Adverse Impact
OFCCP — Introduction to the New Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act Regulations
OFCCP — What to Expect During an OFCCP Audit
OLMS — Compliance Assistance Seminar
WHD — Prevailing Wage Seminar
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What's New
Building a 21st Century Workforce Starts in High School
Standing before a group of
Bladensburg High School students, President Obama announces the winners of Youth
CareerConnect grants totaling $107 million. View the slideshow for more images
and captions.
President Obama stopped by Bladensburg High School in Maryland on April 7 to announce the winners of the Youth CareerConnect program. The school, along with two other high schools in Prince George's County, is being awarded $7 million as part of the program. Overall, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards across the country will provide $107 million to high schools and their partners to strengthen the college- and career-readiness of America's high school students. To mark his first day on the job, Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher P. Lu joined the president for the announcement. The program, administered by the department in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, will help prepare 2,500 high school graduates to succeed academically and graduate career ready in high-demand fields such as information technology and health care.
Strengthening the Connection Between Apprenticeships and Colleges
During the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges on April 7 in Washington, D.C., Vice President Biden announced the launch of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium, a new effort that will allow graduates of Registered Apprenticeship programs to turn their on-the-job and classroom experiences into college credits toward an associate or bachelor degree. "Strengthening the common-sense connection between apprenticeships and colleges is just one of the ways that we are transforming apprenticeship for the 21st century economy," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "As a result of this exciting new consortium, graduates of a Registered Apprenticeship program will not only have better access to jobs that lead to a sustainable career, but they'll also have better access to an education — all with little or no debt."
Pay Gap: 'It's Not a Myth; It's Math'
Equal Pay Day — 'A woman
deserves equal pay for equal work... It's time to do away with workplace
policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode.' — President Obama, 2014 State of
the Union Click for a larger photo.
Every year, Equal Pay Day draws attention to the pay gap between men and women — about 23 cents, according to U.S. Census data. In an April 8 event at the White House, President Obama delivered a clear message to gap skeptics: "It's not a myth; it's math." Obama signed an Executive Order barring federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss compensation. He also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing Secretary Perez to develop rules requiring federal contractors to submit compensation data to the department, including data by sex and race. Both actions will be enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and are designed to help combat pay discrimination, increase transparency, and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws. Perez applauded the announcements, saying, "We are ready to take on these new responsibilities."

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