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Veterans' Program Letter No. 4-97

Veterans' Program Letter No. 4-97

Memorandum for: All Regional Administrators and Directors for Veterans' Employment and Training and All State Employmnet Security Agency Administrators (SESAs) and All Regional Administrators, Employment and Training Administration

From: Preston M. Taylor Jr.

Subject: Federal Contractor/Subcontractor Job Listing through America's Job Bank

I. Purpose: The purpose of this Veterans' Program Letter is to inform State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) and Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) field staff of the new options open to employers, in particular Federal contractors/subcontractors, to list job openings directly with the America's Job Bank (AJB). Electronic direct entry constitutes an alternative method of listing openings with the local job service office in the fulfillment of the mandatory listing requirement under Title 38 U.S.C., Section 4212.

In conjunction with this new option open to Federal contractors, VETS has undertaken a new initiative to provide VETS staff, Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) staff and Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) staff with the technology to access America's Job Bank via the Internet. AJB has arranged to provide special access to the Federal contractor portion of the job listings on America's Job Bank to facilitate priority referral of veterans in this new technological environment.

II. Background: Federal contractors and subcontractors are required by law to list immediately with the local state employment office all of their employment opening, and each such local office shall give such veterans priority in referral to such employment openings (Title 38 U.S.C., Section 4212). Amendments in January 1995, removed the regulatory restriction limiting the listing requirement to only jobs at $25,000 per year or below (P.L. 103-446). Such listings are intended to operate with other protections to maximize access for Vietnam era and special disabled veterans to the Federal contractor jobs for which they are qualified. Job openings traditionally were accomplished through the local Job Service office by writing job orders and performing a manual search for qualified veterans to refer. Through the use of computer technology, employers now have the ability to list openings directly to America's Job Bank where they are available for browsing by those who have the capability of using search engines on the Internet.

The introduction and expansion of the America's Job Bank has led to a vast increase in use of the public labor exchange by employers. Thousands of large employers have listed jobs directly with America's Job Bank. Working with IBM as the first customer, a new public interface has been developed that allows employers to directly link vacancy information in employer human resource systems with America's Job Bank.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Veterans' Employment and Training Service have been working together to assure that the plans and provisions for Internet/AJB technology foster veterans' priority and address concerns with regard to compliance by employers.

III. Options Available to Employers: There are now three ways to comply with the mandatory listing requirements:

  1. Employers may post their jobs with the nearest employment service office as they have in the past.
  2. Employers may enter the job listing through AJB's current direct entry system. This manual process was explained in Employment Services Program Letter No 1-96 issued by ETA to all SESAs on October 13, 1995 and implemented in November 1995.
  3. Now employers may enter the job listing through the new "mass entry"system on AJB. This consists of establishing a routine linkage between the employer human resources computer system and America's Job Bank which automatically lists all jobs on America's Job Bank. This public interface is described on the Internet at www.ajb.dni.us/ajbpi.html.

Direct listings of jobs on the AJB, however, presents a new challenge to local employment office staff : ensuring that veterans continue to receive priority services in the referral process. The Department recognizes the value of effective working relationships between the local employment office and local employers, especially those created through the efforts of the Local Veterans' Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program staff. The new services are intended to increase the level of jobs accessible to veterans and increase employer satisfaction with the services they receive. The new services do not obviate the need for continued support for existing local practices which have been effective in increasing veterans' employment opportunities.

To assist local offices in meeting the challenge, the America's Job Bank has created the mechanisms to:

  1. Ask employers who desire to list jobs directly with AJB if they are Federal contractors/subcontractors.
  2. Create a summary of all job vacancies received from Federal contractors identified above for local and State veterans staff. Local and State staff will then have the opportunity to initiate candidate searches of registered veterans. Local and State staff can then provide a referral for qualified candidates and reference the goals of the statute in the referral.
  3. Offer Federal contractors/subcontractors identified above the opportunity to include the equal employment opportunity self identification form as part of the job seeker application process on the Internet. Employers will recognize this service as a substantial reduction in their perceived cost of compliance with the statute.
  4. Maintain automated records of employers who list directly and provide technical assistance to OFCCP in the use of these records for compliance monitoring purposes.

The Department of Labor has agreed that listing by means of any one of these processes meets the requirements of the statute. A new brochure on the Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act developed by the three agencies informs employers of the three options regarding mandatory job listings and will be issued soon. Copies will be made available to SESAs under separate cover.

IV. Federal Contractor Database within America's Job Bank

Veterans specialist staff will be able to access the Federal contractor job database through a specific password. Thus searches can be conducted for priority referral of registered veterans.

The type of job searches that can be conducted on the Federal contractor database are the same as within the regular AJB (menu, keyword and code searches). However there are some unique advantages to the Federal contractor database:

  1. Federal contractor jobs in AJB are identified and listed in the Federal contractor database which is only accessible by those veterans staff given access. Although these jobs appear in the general AJB repository at the same time, they are not identified as Federal contractor jobs.
  2. New Federal contractor jobs will be identified which are less than one day old (versus seven days for the regular AJB job listings).

3. DVOP and LVER staff can conduct a job search of Federal contractor jobs and all other jobs in AJB while in the Federal contractor database.

4. DVOP and LVER staff will be able to perform sorts by occupation, location (State and city) salary and very importantly, by the "newness" of the job. This is a key feature for focusing in on new jobs in the locality to which veterans might be referred.

Federal contractors must list their jobs "immediately" according to the statute. Through accessing the Federal contractor database in "real" time, DVOP and LVER staff will have immediate access to these jobs daily or even more often.

V. Access to the Internet:

It is recognized that at present, not all local veterans staff have immediate access to the Internet. ETA has made funds available toward equipping each local office with Internet access. VETS has taken the initiative to provide funds, as they become available, to States to provide DVOP and LVER staff with the equipment necessary for Internet connectivity. Those with access to the Internet can download any and all of the contractor job listings on a daily basis (or more frequently if they wish).

ETA is also proceeding with the development of AJB's "Job Scout"--a program that will permit DVOPs and LVERs to establish up to 20 recurring searches targeted for the occupations they are seeking on behalf of the veteran customer. The "Job Scout" will look for jobs within the contractor pool or the full AJB collection and e-mail the results directly to the DVOP/LVER.

Overall it is expected that the changes and advancements in technology will result in increased availability of mandatory listings, increased timeliness of posting those openings and immediately give DVOP and LVER staff access to the openings with a powerful and exclusive search tool.

VETS is committed to training for DVOP and LVER staff in the new Internet technology. The Federal contractor data base can be accessed now and this will be a priority area for sharing knowledge on its use. Available materials will be distributed and others developed. Other resources also will be used, such as the National Veterans Training Institute.

VI. Action: Please advise all appropriate staff of the change in policy which now permits Federal contractors to list directly with America's Job Bank in fulfillment of the mandatory listing requirement. DVOP and LVER staff and other appropriate staff should be advised that Federal contractor jobs within AJB can be accessed separately for veterans priority referral purposes as described in this letter. Also, it should be conveyed to veteran staff that the

new "mass entry" job listing option discussed in Section III. of this letter can be an effective marketing tool when presented to employers.

VETS National Office will transmit the password information necessary to access the Federal contractor data base to VETS Regional Administrators and all DVETs in the immediate future.

As local employment service office DVOP and LVER staff come on-line with the Internet, password information will be disseminated to SESAs by the DVET so that this information is available to veteran dedicated staff for their immediate use in accessing the automated Federal contractor listings. DVETs should work closely with the SESAs to assure that DVOP and LVER staff are aware of this new feature on America's Job Bank and implement practices and

procedures to make this electronic job search work for targeted veterans clients.

Enclosed with this letter are two handouts which provide instructions on how to use the AJB/Internet Federal contractor search application. Although similar, one is directed to the user and the other to a trainer.

VII. Inquiries:

Inquiries from SESAs should be directed to the appropriate DVET. Inquiries regarding the Federal Contractor Job Listings Program should be directed to Eileen Connors at (202) 219- 9110. All other inquiries should be directed to Paul Hinkhouse at (202) 219-9105.

Enclosures: Searching America's Job Bank for Employment Listings (2 documents)

Expiration Date: September 30, 1997

VETS-D EConnors:bvf:11/6/96:FPB:Rm.S-1316:219-9110

Wilson:Official File;Pending:File:B: AJBVPL