DOL's Women's Bureau: 99 Years of Creating Opportunity

photo mary anderson first director of women's bureau

June 5, 2019 marked the 99th anniversary of the creation of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. Established just two months before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the Women’s Bureau is the only federal agency tasked with focusing exclusively on working women by safeguarding their interests, advocating for their equality and economic security, and promoting quality work environments. This year’s celebration comes at a time of unprecedented opportunity for all American workers, and especially women. Click here to read the blog by Acting Director Erica Wright.


Erica Clayton Wright Named Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau

Erica Wright photo

On May 9, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that Erica Clayton Wright has been named Acting Director of the Women's Bureau. Wright has more than 15 years of experience in federal, state, and local government serving in various leadership positions. Wright served as the Communications Director for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, as well as Deputy Director for the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, and Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. See the full news release.

Occupational Licensing Reform for Military Spouses – Front and Center

group photo military spouses occupational licensing

On June 12, Acting Director Wright held a listening session with military spouses at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey to discuss occupational licensing reform and ways to increase employment opportunities. Adding momentum to the conversation the next day, President Donald Trump hosted a working lunch with U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and governors from around the country to discuss best ways to reform occupational licensing laws, advance childcare policies, and provide quality job training to America's workforce.

U.S. Department of Labor Makes Major Announcements on Apprenticeship Expansion

photo two professionals in lab coats

On June 24, the U.S. Department of Labor announced major milestones in the effort to expand apprenticeships in America. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published that would establish a process for the Department to advance the development of high-quality, industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAPs). The Department announced the award of $183 million in investments to grow apprenticeships and a new solicitation to award up to $100 million in grant funds for apprenticeship partnerships of public- and private-sector entities to develop and implement new apprenticeship models or expand existing apprenticeship programs. The deadline to apply is September 24, 2019. Read more in the news release.

Acting Director Wright Addresses Women Business Owners at the White House

photo of Erica Wright at white house

On June 4, 2019, Acting Director Wright addressed nearly 150 members of the National Association of Women Business Owners, who attended a White House briefing on the Administration's efforts to help women start and grow their businesses. In her remarks, Wright highlighted the importance of paid family leave and provided a preview of the online platform for women entrepreneurs developed jointly with the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury.

Secretary Acosta at Hiring Our Heroes’ 2019 Military Spouse Employment Summit

alexander acosta photo

On June 20, Former U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta spoke at the Military Spouse Employment Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Key themes in his remarks included strengthening military communities through economic opportunities and the importance of the businesses’ involvement in fostering an agile work environment. The Secretary also highlighted the Department of Labor's work to promote occupational licensing reform, including $7.5 million in grants dedicated to the effort. You can watch the full recording of the event here.

From Our Partners at the VA: Solicitation of nomination for appointment to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

 photo of Veteran Affaits logo

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for membership on the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans for the 2019 membership cycle. The Committee provides advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the administration of VA’s benefits and services for women Veterans, reports and studies pertaining to women Veterans, and the needs of women Veterans. Nominations for membership on the Committee must be received by August 1, 2019. Click here to see the full solicitation.