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The National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) held its 30th Annual ILG National Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii from August 27 to August 31, 2012.

The conference included attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) typically attends the conference in-person, but opted to attend via interactive high definition broadcast.

  • “We were not able to join you this year because, at a time when millions of Americans are out of work, when our leaders are making very difficult cuts to important government programs and when public scrutiny is rightfully focused on how taxpayer dollars are being spent, I could not justify sending my entire senior leadership team to this conference as we have done in the past. It’s not simply a matter of expense or even the public perception of federal employees traveling to a resort in Hawaii. It’s about priorities,” Patricia Shiu, Director of OFCCP said via video recording on August 30, 2012 at 8 to 9:30 a.m. PDT that aired in the main ballroom to kick-off Thursday’s sessions.

The OFCCP was one of many to skip this year’s event. In fact, the conference was smaller than previous years with 428 attendees, 25 exhibitors, and 29 sessions while the 2011 conference had 770 attendees, 30 exhibitors, and 25 sessions.

Session Speakers and Topics

The session speakers were diverse and included professionals from consulting firms, law firms, human resources solutions, employer associations, universities, and government agencies and departments.

The sessions included the classic topics; such as, managing applicants; maintaining records for applicant tracking systems; measuring adverse impact and good faith efforts; avoiding the consequences of misclassifying workers; reviewing systemic discrimination settlements; learning about pay discrimination enforcements; complying with affirmative action for veterans, multiple establishments, and wage hour; reviewing compliance evaluation steps, and handling accommodations for persons with disabilities.

The OFCCP presented various sessions via interactive high definition broadcast. The Policy Division session focused on customer service, language access, and training and technical assistance. The Pay Discrimination Enforcement session reviewed the OFCCP’s enforcement activities of 2012, an overview of cases and issues it has been addressing throughout the year, and what it anticipates in 2013. The Operations and Solicitor session focused on the scheduling and corporate scheduling announcement letters, as well as enforcement cases. The Testing session discussed how the OFCCP develops test discrimination claims and how to avoid legal issues while keeping psychometrics. This session also included a live question and answer (Q&A) session for the audience members.

Special Guest Speakers

The conference included special guest speakers with various backgrounds to shed light on their experiences in the employment realm.

Jacqueline Berrien, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), discussed the value of preventing discrimination and the importance of enforcing EEOC’s regulations to create the greatest good for the greatest number of Americans and legal residents. Berrien is passionate about advocacy and taught trial advocacy programs at Fordham and Harvard law schools.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), World War II veteran and author, is the most senior member of the U.S. Senate and is the highest-ranking Asian American politician in U.S. history. Inouye shared stories about his service and the opportunities for employment and job training.

Lilly Ledbetter, a women’s equality activist, author, and the impetus of The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, shared her trials and tribulations for equal pay and fairness in the workforce for women. Like her or not, the session was a tear jerker and an inspiration for employers. As one audience member said, “I didn’t even cry at the birth of my children, but that was inspiring.”

Wes Moore, Iraq War veteran, advocate, and author, shared his personal story about opportunity and self expectations as he transitioned from a troubled boy who was on the brink of self-destruction into a paratrooper and captain in the U.S. Army, a Rhodes scholar, a White House fellow, and entrepreneur. This session included a live Q&A where an audience member thanked Moore for sharing his story, “Thank you for that [story] – you’ve motivated me to do better – truly inspiring.”

Patricia Shiu, Director of the OFCCP, prerecorded a message about the deep and complementary relationship between the OFCCP and the ILG members. Shiu said,

  • “Our partnership with the ILGs is a key component of that stakeholder outreach…even when you’ve taken issue with aspects of our proposed regulations and enforcement protocols, you’ve done so in a manner that was constructive and reflected an appreciation for our shared values of building safe, fair, diverse and discrimination-free workplaces.” To view Shiu’s entire speech, click here.

Lee Woodruff, author and contributing editor of Good Morning America, talked about her experiences of overcoming adversity when her husband was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Woodruff and her husband, Bob, created the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist wounded military members and their families gain long-term care as they adjust into their activities of daily living after serving in the military.

2013 Annual NILG Conference

The 2013 Annual NILG is focused on Raising the Game – Winning at Compliance. It is scheduled for July 30 to August 2, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. The sessions will include topics about grasping the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulatory changes and obligations; using best practices to achieve compliance; evaluating and monitoring risky practices to mitigate offenses; maintaining data and recordkeeping; complying with veteran and persons with disability regulations; and avoiding pay discrimination.

That is it for the 30th Annual ILG National Conference and Exhibition round-up. For questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected].



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