Jane Oates is the Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration.
At the Employment and Training Administration we are helping American workers get into good jobs in promising industries every day. We serve many different worker communities. Our regulations – and updates to them – must be tailored to meet the needs of these groups and ensure that our programs are succeeding in getting more Americans on the path to lifelong careers.
Everyone should have an equal opportunity to get a good job. This includes equal opportunity in Registered Apprenticeship programs. Registered Apprenticeships are one of the best blends of the “earn while you learn” concept, offering competitive wages from the outset and opportunities to earn nationally recognized credentials and advance within a profession.
Part of the Department’s responsibility is protecting apprentices and applicants from discrimination; and ensuring that apprenticeship programs provide equal opportunities. Our sister DOL agency, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, also has similar responsibilities for ensuring equal employment opportunity. We are working together to update our agencies’ EEO regulations to break down the barriers to fair and diverse workplaces.
Helping older workers, especially low income seniors, is another important part of the ETA mission. The Senior Community Service Employment Program has seen great success in helping older workers gain employment through service to their communities. Many of these workers continue to pursue community service opportunities following their participation in SCSEP.
A new rule that would create a system to track those who enter volunteer positions is now open for public comment. The new measure will allow the Department to gather more specific information about the breadth and depth of participant experience in SCSEP, and the positive impact that the program has both on the lives of participants and their communities.
These are only two examples of how our regulatory efforts will help more Americans get the good jobs they need to support themselves and their families. For those rules that are still in the draft phase, we will look forward to your input as they are posted for public comment. Your feedback will lead to rules and regulations that improve our programs and meet the needs of the greatest number of workers.
Ed. Note: Please note that comments posted to this blog are not part of the formal rulemaking process. You can find DOL’s proposed regulations, and submit comments, by visiting www.regulations.gov.