Jacksonville Industry Leader was spawned by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) programs to encourage open communication between industry and the OFCCP. The objectives have expanded since the beginning to include partnerships with other government agencies, like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Local groups are found in every Department of Labor (DOL) region.
The Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Department of Labor, encouraged enhanced communications between the federal contractor community and the agency, through the newly created concept of Liaison Groups.
The concept was well received by the federal contractor community and together with the OFCCP, employers began forming Liaison Groups across the country in the various Department of Labor regions. Both the public and private sector representatives were eager to put aside the adversarial relationship that had developed and characterized the way the enforcement agency and employers had interacted. Forming groups gave both parties a common platform to develop more positive partnerships to achieve their mutual affirmative action and equal opportunity goals.
The first group was established in what was then considered Department of Labor Region X and was joined by other newly formed liaison groups across the country. Liaisons are individual, separate and distinct organizations that are self-governed by their individual membership. They may hold meetings monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on members’ interests to discuss issues relevant to both the federal contractor and government enforcement agency personnel.
The Liaison Group movement from its very beginning was so successful that a local group volunteered to host an annual liaison group conference. The first Annual Conference was held in 2002 in Jacksonville. Every year since, the nation’s foremost affirmative action officers, equal opportunity directors, and diversity leaders, from business, industry and education have gathered to meet with government agency leadership from the OFCCP and EEOC to engage in cooperative discussions regarding regulations, compliance, best practices, and successful approaches to ensuring America’s work place is free from unlawful discrimination.
The mission of the Jacksonville Group is to foster and strengthen the partnership between the OFCCP, EEOC, and other government agencies with private industry government contractors. The companies involved hope to provide leadership in establishing and supporting standards of compliance, while providing and valuing a diverse workplace.