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The National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) held its 31st Annual ILG National Conference and Exhibition at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, Indiana from July 30 to August 2, 2013.
The conference showed an increase in attendance with 730 attendees, 42 exhibitors, and 24 sessions while the 2012 conference hosted 428 attendees, 25 exhibitors, and 29 sessions.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) also attended. Patricia Shiu, Director of OFCCP, addressed the audience in the opening ceremony by summarizing OFCCP’s statistics on enforcement:
Even so, Shiu continued by highlighting a consistent problem with affirmative action plans (AAPs):
Shiu closed her speech by forecasting on what is to come:
Shiu’s entire speech can be read here.
There were less concurrent sessions this year because the start times began at 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. and 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. As a result, attendees could attend two full concurrent sessions each day as opposed to three concurrent sessions as previously organized in 2012. While organizers encouraged attendees to hop around to different concurrent sessions to yield the most relevant information, the majority of the attendees did not.
Even so, the concurrent session speakers covered a range of topics and included professionals from consulting firms, law firms, human resources solutions, employer associations, universities, and government agencies and departments.
The concurrent sessions included hot topics; such as, compensation; legal updates about recent court decisions regarding employment discrimination law; developing linkage agreements; creating meaningful disability programs; veteran hiring; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updates; and recent OFCCP developments. Other topics were commonplace and covered Internet Applicants; uniform guidelines; website accessibility for persons with disabilities; screening applicants; dispositioning candidates; audits; applicant tracking strategies; validating tests; social media risks; hiring processes; and international Affirmative Action (AA) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) law.
OFCCP participated in one concurrent session, “A Conversation with OFCCP on Compensation Reviews” that included a discussion with OFCCP’s Pamela Coukos, Senior Program Advisor, regarding Directive 307 with an emphasis on how OFCCP views compensation. OFCCP also participated in, “The OFCCP Panel” where contributors; such as, regional and district directors, answered questions from the audience. Questions included various topics:
The conference included keynote speakers with various backgrounds to share their experiences on workplace inclusion.
Marine Corporal Josh Bleill, Indianapolis Colts community spokesperson, shared his experience of losing his legs while serving in Iraq and how he overcame adversity. Bleill’s story emphasized the importance of including veterans into civilian work and how employers can leverage veterans’ skills and discipline to build a strong organization.
Donna Brazile, political commentator, strategist, author, and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, discussed the importance of AA. Brazile expressed that the United States is still a place where discrimination is occurring; thus, AA is necessary for the fairness of all.
Ron Clark, Founder of Ron Clark Academy, discussed the value of raising the bar regarding the expectations of students with an emphasis on minority students. Clark stressed the significance of learning about each other’s culture and celebrating it to create a prosperous environment, especially in the workplace.
Jane Elliott, teacher, lecturer, and diversity educator, shared her story of the “Blue Eyes – Brown Eyes Exercise” to illustrate that discrimination is taught; thus, it can be changed. Elliott said prejudice and bigotry is irrational because it is developed from arbitrary factors; such as, height, age, and the shade of one’s skin and eyes. Elliott urged the audience to look beyond those factors in order to build an environment that is accepting of all since we cannot select the features we were born with.
Bill Strickland, President & CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, delivered a message about investing into youth with an emphasis on the underprivileged because the youth is our future. Strickland stressed that life is not about race or class; rather, it is about being a human because we were all born as assets, not liabilities. Strickland’s overall point was the idea of unlocking a person’s potential for what they are capable of, regardless of the color of one’s skin or socioeconomic status, for the betterment of a thriving society.
2014 Annual ILG National Conference
The 2014 Annual ILG National Conference’s premise is “Celebrate 50 Years of Civil Rights – Learn from the Legacy, While Focusing on the Future.” It is scheduled for August 5 to August 8, 2014 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. You can learn more here.
That is it for the 31st Annual ILG National Conference and Exhibition round-up. For questions or comments, please email me at [email protected].