DOL PATRICIA SHIU INTRODUCES THE MCCP
Mega Construction Project Program of September 2016
There are major federally funded construction projects all over the country, creating lots of opportunities for skilled jobs in the trades that pay well. Traditionally, construction has had less diversity than some other industries, but we’re working with employers, developers, labor unions and communities to improve equal employment opportunity at mega construction project sites funded by taxpayer dollars.
TheOffice of Federal Contract Compliance Programsis plugged into these projects on the ground, helping to ensure that everyone with the skills to do the job gets a fair shot at employment, as called for by federal equal employment opportunity law.
Today we are announcing a redoubling of these efforts with the expansion of the Mega Construction Project Program. Through the program, OFCCP staff nationwide are already helping to connect talented workers with contractors involved in projects totaling nearly $30 billion. Now, by formalizing the program at the national level, adding staff dedicated solely to the program, and increasing the overall number of worksites designated as mega construction projects, we can have an even greater impact.
Now is an opportune time to focus our efforts on construction contractor hiring, with increased construction activity resulting in an increase in demand for workers. And with many tradespeople nearing retirement, both contractors and unions are looking to expand the number of talented workers in their ranks.
Our efforts today will not only help ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity law, they’ll help people who might otherwise be overlooked make their way into the middle class by finding work on long-term construction projects. It is good for these workers, and it is good for unions and contractors seeking to create and expand pipelines of skilled tradespeople. Participating in the program is voluntary for contractors, and it is designed as a win-win for both workers and employers.
We know from experience that proactive outreach is far more effective than after-the-fact enforcement alone can ever be. That’s why we’re reaching out to contractors, unions and communities where projects are taking place on the front end, before ground is even broken. We will always go after bad actors when it comes to discrimination in hiring or employment, but the better result is when we get the conversation started early, leading to jobs for qualified workers, rather than complaints or findings after the fact that a contractor didn’t hire from a diverse talent pool.
Just this week we briefed and trained OFCCP staff on the expansion of the Mega Construction Projects Program. In the coming days and weeks we will be talking with contractors; unions; advocates for women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans; and other stakeholders in an effort to spread the word. Keep an eye onwww.dol.gov/ofccp/mcp/mcp.htmfor more information.
Patricia Shiu is the director of the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.