National Small Business Week Event

May 19th, 2014   •   no comments   

Last week I had the privilege of attending the SBA’s Small Business Week event held in Boston.

Seth Goodall, the Regional Administrator of the Boston’s SBA kicked off the event and was the MC throughout the day.

 The national Anthem was sung by 8 year old Bella Dante, what a voice she had. The next presenter was Annmarie Levins, Associate General Counsel for Microsoft. Next up was a powerhouse speaker Maria Conteras-Sweet who was recently appointed on April 7, 2014 as the 24th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. 

She spoke about what the organization was doing to support small businesses since they are an instrumental force in job creation. She stated their mission called the 3 C’s and 1 D to support small business,

  • Contracting
  • Counseling
  • Capitol
  • Disaster Assistance

 Senator Ed Markey was not in attendance so we were presented with a video clip of his presentation.

 The keynote speaker was Gail Goodman CEO of Constant Contact, and is considered a small business expert and visionary. The topic of her speech was Lessons from a Successful Entrepreneur. There was a panel of experts High-tech / Innovative Businesses and several breakout sessions in the afternoon followed by a Business Matchmaking session.

 A great event and wonderful networking opportunity.  Happy 50th birthday SCORE!

 The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association comprised of 13,000+ volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories.

 SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.

These services are offered at no fee, as a community service.

 For more info about this event or SCORE please email



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Veterans Employment Council Discusses Strategy to Increase Employment and Retention of Veterans in Federal Government

May 2nd, 2014   •   2 comments   


New Benchmark for Veteran Hiring Among Federal Agencies Adopted

Washington, DC – Today, the President’s Council on Veterans Employment, Co-Chaired by Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, and Vice-Chaired by U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director, Katherine Archuleta,  met to discuss the progress made in implementing Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government. Council discussion focused on increasing the employment and retention of veterans in the Federal government and the adoption of new benchmarks to track best practices and efforts by Federal agencies.

“President Obama created the Veterans Employment Initiative to ensure that we honor our sacred obligation to our Nation’s veterans,” said OPM Director and Council Vice-Chair Katherine Archuleta. “As the Federal government we must not only do all we can do help employ veterans when they return home, we must also serve as a model employer that acknowledges their talents, wisdom and energy. We are committed to creating an innovative recruitment and retention program that will be emulated in the public and private sectors. I am excited and honored to be taking on the role of Vice-Chair of this important Council and I am confident that, together, we will all do the work needed to achieve the objectives of this Council.”

It has been more than four years since President Obama established the Veterans Employment Initiative and, in that time, the Executive Branch of Government hired the highest percentage of military veterans since 1974. The percentage of veteran new hires increased in FY 2013 – of the 162,839 new employees hired in FY 2013, 50,502 were veterans, equaling 31 percent of total new hires.

Pointing directly to this uptick in numbers was the strategic direction of the first Government-wide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan covering the period of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 through FY 2012. During the meeting, the Council approved a new Government-wide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan for FY 2014 through FY 2017, which continues to build upon the foundation established by the first Plan. In addition to advancing actions to improve employment opportunities for veterans, this Plan introduces an emphasis on the retention of veterans and focuses on the reintegration of our Federal colleagues who are deployable Reservists or National Guardsmen. The new Plan can be viewed on the Feds Hire Vets website.

Secretary of Labor and Council Co-chair Thomas E. Perez said, “I’m a firm believer that the best way to honor our veterans is to help them find jobs when they separate from the military services which is the service the department provides through our 2,500 American Job Centers. On April 23, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of the Veterans Employment Center, ( the first interagency, web-based tool to bring together a wealth of public and private job opportunities and career and training resources, all in one place.  We have much more to do. Veterans make our workforce and our government more productive and our economy more competitive. Veterans are ready to work and the government needs exactly what veterans have to offer.”

At today’s meeting, Council members adopted a new benchmark for veteran hiring among Federal agencies; The Veteran Employment Performance Model for FY 2015 through FY 2017. The initial Model, adopted by the Council in FY 2010, has been the mechanism used to stimulate veteran new hires at the agency level in support of the Veterans Employment Initiative. This new model establishes four elements that will allow for clear performance reviews by grouping agencies by size and creating a rating scheme based on interagency comparison to measure veteran employment performance.

“At VA, we know that Veterans make exceptional employees,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Veterans make up one third of our workforce – the courage, determination, initiative, perseverance, and leadership they demonstrated in uniform continue to define their performance today. With President Obama’s leadership, we will continue to connect Veterans with high-quality career opportunities in both the public and private sectors.”

The goal of the President’s Veterans Employment Initiative is to help federal agencies identify qualified veterans, clarify the hiring process for veterans seeking employment with the Federal government, and help them adjust to the civilian work environment once they are hired. The President’s Council on Veterans Employment is made up of 24 cabinet level and other independent agencies. The Council is Co-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki. The Vice-Chairman is OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.

For additional information please visit Feds Hire Vets.

For more information on OFCCP Compliance visit

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New Web Portal to Connect Employers With Veterans

April 28th, 2014   •   no comments   

New tool connects vets and employers

Major General James C. McConville (at podium), commanding general, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) asked VETS Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training Keith Kelly (foreground) to stand and be welcomed home by troops at a jobs summit at Fort Campbell, Ky. Click for a larger photo.

A Veterans Employment Center web portal that will help simplify job searches for veterans and transitioning military service members was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on April 23 at a Fort Campbell, Ky., jobs summit. More than 1,000 veterans and family members and more than 100 employers attended the summit, organized by the departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense and Labor and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Our service members haven’t always had the time or information they needed to prepare their resumes, to plot their career goals, to meet with employers and get the jobs they deserve. And that’s simply not acceptable,” Michelle Obama said. The Employment Center is the first inter-agency tool to bring together a wealth of public and private job opportunities, a resume-builder, military skills translator and detailed career and training resources in one place. More than 1 million service members are projected to leave the military in coming years, Secretary Perez noted, adding that “improving veterans’ employment is an all-hands-on-deck enterprise.” The summit marked the third anniversary of Joining Forces, the nationwide initiative that the First Lady and Dr. Biden started to boost employment, education and health care for active-duty service members, military families and veterans. Keith Kelly, assistant secretary of labor for veterans’ employment and training, attended the summit and met with veterans and their families. Kelly, a Vietnam veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division, was asked to stand up by Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commanding general of the 101st, and received a “welcome home” ovation from the troops.

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Job Accommodation Network talks about accomodations for organ transplants

April 18th, 2014   •   no comments   

April is Donate Life Month — Job Accommodation Network Blog

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has updated their Ask JAN blog with a posting titled April is Donate Life Month: Accommodations for Employees Who Have Received Organ Transplants. The article establishes that “Many individuals who have undergone an organ transplant anticipate returning to their career after a successful transplant. An effective accommodation can make this possible.” It then discusses accommodations that employees might need before, during, and after a transplant.

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Final Rule – Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustment under Title III of the American Disabilities Act (ADA)

April 16th, 2014   •   no comments   

On March 28, 2014, the Department issued a Final Rule that adjusts for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the Civil Rights Division, including those assessed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).   For the ADA, this adjustment increases the maximum civil penalty for a first violation from $55,000 to $75,000; for a subsequent violation the new maximum is $150,000.  The new maximums apply only to violations occurring on or after April 28, 2014.   This Final Rule, and the civil penalty adjustments made therein, were non-discretionary and required by statute.

To find out more about the ADA or this Final Rule, call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its website.

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Boston Veterans Job Fair

April 10th, 2014   •   no comments   

April 10, 2014


Today I attended the Boston Veterans Job Fair at Patriot Place in Foxborough, MA, it was a beautiful day the sun was shining it was 61 degrees a perfect day for a worthwhile event.

Our veterans were there when we needed them, and we must be there now that they need us and support them in finding the job that they deserve and the services that they need.

There was over 68 companies exhibiting at the event. I applaud all of the companies represented at the hiring event who were looking to connect with Veterans to fill their present and or future jobs.

For the veterans that attended  not only were their job opportunities there were also many exhibitors showcasing everything from training , education, health insurance, housing assistance, financing services specifically for veterans and tools to help veterans rebuild their lives.

I was particularly impressed with all the resources and support available to our veterans and their spouses.

Below are some of the companies that exhibited at the Veterans job fair read more

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Every Day an Equal Pay Day

April 9th, 2014   •   no comments   

by Secretary Tom Perez on April 8, 2014


Equal Pay Day. President Obama: "A woman deserves equal pay for equal work... It's time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode."

Today, President Obama asked me to join him in solving a problem that should have been solved long ago.

The pay gap costs the typical working woman hundreds of thousands of dollars over her career, and for women of color, the gap is even larger. Women working hard every day to support their families aren’t being rewarded with a fair wage. Especially as the father of two daughters just a few years from entering the workforce, I am committed to closing this gap.

Every year on Equal Pay Day we pause to recognize the extra time, on average, women must work in order to get the same pay that men receive in a year. This is not only unfair; it’s bad for our economy, costing us more than $400 billion in lost productivity. As President Obama has said, “In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, we must use all of America’s talent to its fullest potential – because when women succeed, America succeeds.” read more

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March Job Growth Leaves Behind People With Disabilities

April 7th, 2014   •   no comments   

Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire Release April nTIDE Report – Monthly Update

WEST ORANGE, NJ–(Marketwired – Apr 4, 2014) – The March jobs data revealed that while more people with disabilities are looking for work in comparison to March of last year, fewer are employed. In contrast, the workforce is adding jobs for working-age Americans without disabilities, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). Innovative programs are being implemented to address the gap between people with and without disabilities.

In the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Jobs Report released Friday, April 4, the employment-to-population ratio decreased from 27.3 percent in March 2013 to 25.5 percent in March 2014 (down 6.6 percent; 1.8 percentage points) for working-age people with disabilities. For people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio increased slightly from 70.2 percent in March 2013 to 71.1 percent in March 2014 (up 1.3 percent; 0.9 percentage points). The employment-to-population ratio, a key indicator, reflects the percentage of people who are working relative to the total population (the number of people working divided by the number of people in the total population multiplied by 100). read more

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When Protecting the Workforce, We Mean Business “OFCCP”

April 6th, 2014   •   no comments   

by John DuMont on April 3, 2014

They say two things in life are certain – death and taxes. As we grow ever closer to the tax filing deadline of April 15, you can count on a couple of other things as well: tax preparers will be working overtime, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will continue to enforce workplace protections for them and any other employees burning the midnight oil.

Our agency means business when it comes to our mission of promoting and achieving compliance with federal labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. In our effort to do so, we use a robust variety of enforcement tools, including subpoenas, search warrants, consent judgments, debarments, the assessment of liquidated damages, civil money penalties and garnishments where appropriate.

These tools led to the Bluefield, Va., accounting firm of Raymond A. Froy Jr., CPA, P.C., recently paying $22,006 in back wages and liquidated damages for minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. read more

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An Ordinary, Extraordinary Day for the OFCCP !

March 31st, 2014   •   no comments   

Article by Patricia Shiu on March 27, 2014

For millions of workers around the nation, March 24 was just another Monday, the first day of another week of work. But at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, March 24 was a special day: the day our rules expanding employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities and protected groups of veterans went into effect.

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