|Program:||Mega Project Initiative, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC|
|Contact(s):||Shirley Wilcher, Deputy Assistant Secretary: (202) 219-9475|
|Purpose:||To increase the representation of minorities and women in skilled trades by promoting effective recruitment and training|
The percentage of ethnic minorities and women involved in the construction trades has historically been low. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) at the Department of Labor developed the Mega Project Initiative (MPI) to address this historical under-representation. A Mega Project involves federally funded multimillion dollar construction projects, which are expected to have a major economic and employment impact upon the community and have an expected duration of two or more years. The MPI's goal is to increase the representation of minorities and women in skilled trades by building partnerships between private industry, community organizations, labor groups, and government.
OFCCP found that when the responsibilities and obligations of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), equity, and affirmative action are enforced by the contractors and supported by the community, implementation of appropriate programs become more simple and fair. Establishing an MPI involves several components: preliminary meetings with the contracting agency; a preconstruction technical assistance seminar for construction contractors; establishment of an EEO advisory committee; designation of an EEO manager by the general contractor; and the preparation of comprehensive staffing data reports to measure the success of the program. An MPI is an alliance with other governmental entities, community groups, labor organizations, sponsors, prime and subcontractors, and elected officials. OFCCP coordinates efforts, provides technical assistance, verifies results through compliance reviews, and issues reports outlining the MPI's accomplishments. All participants, including the contracting agency, the prime contractor and subcontractors, work together to ensure good faith efforts towards the hiring of women and minorities and the administration of the letter and spirit of the applicable laws.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
OFCCP has found that when an MPI has been implemented, the companies and community organizations involved benefit from an enhanced reputation. To meet staffing needs, MPI contractors and workers are better linked, and workers benefit from increased opportunities for apprenticeships. As a result, an MPI increases the representation of minorities and women in skilled trades through effective recruitment and training.
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