Aerial View of Washington DC
DC Metro BLN News - April 2019
Annual VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Released
OFCCP U. S. Department of Labor
The 2019 Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark was updated on the  VEVRAA Benchmark Database .  Effective on March 31, 2019, the new benchmark is 5.9 percent
Looking for prior national percentages? View a chart of the annual national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force from prior years on the  Annual VEVRAA Benchmark Effective Dates  page.

National and state information has also been updated in the  VEVRAA Benchmark Database  for federal contractors and subcontractors who calculate an individualized hiring benchmark using the five-factor method. 
Next fiscal year, OFCCP plans to incorporate VEVRAA Focused Reviews into the Corporate Scheduling Announcement List. 

Need more information on VEVRAA requirements? Visit our  VEVRAA information page, or contact the OFCCP Help Desk at 1-800-397-6251 (TTY: 1-877-889-5627) or  online.
DC Metro BLN Membership Update and Programs
Katherine McCary presenting in front of an audience.
New Annual Membership Benefits

Effective July 1st members receive free program passes based on the level of membership.

Corporate: $2,000
Two Attendee passes per program
Additional Attendees $65

Gold: $3000
Three Attendee passes per program
Additional Attendees $65

Diamond: $5,000
Five Attendee passes per program
Additional Attendees $65

Platinum: $10,000
Unlimited Attendee passes per program

Non-Profit: $750
One Attendee pass per program
Additional Attendees $35

Small Business: $800
One Attendee pass per program
Additional Attendees $45

Non-Member Program Fees: $115
Guest: $65
Thanks to our 2018 Gala Sponsors
Booz Allen Hamilton. Strategy and technology consultants.
eSSENTIAL Accessibility
Herson Family Vineyards.
Lockheed Martin.
Northrop Grumman.
The Sierra Group. Disability & Employment Leaders.
TCS Associates
TCS Interpreting
IN THE NEWS - Articles of Interest
HIRE Vets Medallions
Three Reasons to Apply for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Award

There is only a month left to apply for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Award. This award recognizes employers for their investments in recruiting, employing, and retaining our nation’s veterans.

Here are three reasons you should apply today:
  1. HIRE Vets Medallion Award recipients are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for hiring veterans
  2. The Award signals your commitment to veteran hiring and retention, letting potential applicants and clients know that you’re a veteran-friendly business
  3. Award recipients will receive a certificate and digital images of the medallion to use in your marketing and promotional activities

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award represents a truly elite honor. Recipients will be able to demonstrate to potential and current customers, as well as to veterans looking for jobs, that they are dedicated to both hiring veterans and to providing the support and guidance needed to build careers.

The deadline to submit an application is April 30, 2019. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for you to celebrate your commitment to our nation’s veterans. Read the U.S. Department of Labor’s  blog post or visit for more information.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paving Access for Veterans Employment

Lauren Lobrano, Director, PAVE Program

Paralyzed Veterans of America’s veterans’ employment program, PAVE – Paving Access for Veterans Employment - was launched in 2007 to ensure that our Nation’s veterans have access to employment and educational opportunities. While engaging paralyzed veterans is a key area of focus for PAVE, we also support the broader veteran community including transitioning service members, veterans, spouses and caregivers with our one-on-one, high-touch approach. Working with our team of six vocational rehabilitation counselors and two employment analysts strategically located across the country, PAVE has supported more than 4,300 members of the veteran community. And while veteran unemployment is no longer a crisis, there is still much work to be done.

Many veterans with significant service-connected disabilities, including physical or behavioral health injuries, are not currently seeking employment. More than 62 % of veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 60% or higher either struggle with or opt out of joining the civilian workforce. When layered with the added challenges of managing a new injury or medical diagnosis, many may feel that the barriers to gainful employment are overwhelming. We continue to be leaders in dispelling the myths and challenging stereotypes of those with disabilities. And working beside dedicated employment partners, we will continue to create opportunities for quality and sustainable careers for those with significant and catastrophic injuries.

Additionally, a recent Call of Duty Endowment/Zip Recruiter Survey showed that one-third of post-9/11 veterans are not employed to their objective skill level; this is 15.6% higher than non-veteran job seekers. Often, this is due to veterans accepting a lower skilled position instead of appropriately navigating and managing opportunities for a more individualized and meaningful career.

PAVE’s high-touch, one-on-one model has proven to be extremely effective at helping veterans find meaningful employment. Industry studies show that approximately 44% of veterans leave their first job within a year, while only 20% of those who find employment through the PAVE program leave their job within a 12 month period. PAVE staff use a combination of service and hospitality to bring equity to the veteran job search process and help our clients identify their unique values.

If you are interested in more information about Paralyzed Veterans of America’s PAVE program, please visit our website
OFCCP posts Corporate Scheduling Announcement List on Website
OFCCP U. S. Department of Labor
Today, OFCCP released its next Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) in the OFCCP FOIA Library. This is the first time OFCCP has posted the CSAL only in the FOIA Library without mailing advanced contractor notifications to individual establishments. 

OFCCP also posted its updated scheduling methodology and Frequently Asked Questions on CSAL and Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations. All of these compliance resources, in addition to a page dedicated to Section 503 Focused Reviews, are available here
For the first time, the CSAL includes Section 503 Focused Reviews as outlined in our Focused Review Directive  ( DIR 2018-04 )  and compliance checks as outlined in our Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative Directive  ( DIR 2018-07 ) . Compliance reviews are still included on the list.
Useful Tech Apps
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
On March 16th, Nai Damato, CLB’s Assistant Director of DeafBlind and Technology Services, led a workshop at the Foundation Fighting Blindness Montgomery County Chapter meeting, where she demonstrated technology – specifically apps that further the independence of people with vision loss.

Nai utilized the Seeing AI app which is blind specific and free to download. Among the other highlights of this app are its abilities to detect the presence of light in a room and the identification of currency and colors of threading of apparel. Other beneficial features of this app include the short text feature to magnify or read out bar codes, menus, and other product details.

In this photo-sharing and posting culture, the app houses a person feature to help with taking photos and posting to social media platforms such as Instagram.

Additionally, Nai presented on an app called Be My Eyes, which allows blind and visually impaired users to connect in real time to a live sighted volunteer via phone and video for assistance with visual tasks such as identifying a food label. The specialized help option in the app connects the user to a volunteer with training in providing tech support.

To learn more about the tech tips shared during the presentation, please visit  the Facebook live link .
BILG Baltimore Industry Liaison Group
Hiring in the Digital Age:
Is New Always Better? 
Wednesday, April 3, from 9:00am-11:50am

Space Telescope Science Institute
711 W. 40 th  Street, Baltimore, MD 21211

The guest speaker is Michelle Duncan with Jackson Lewis. Michelle will be speaking on:  Hiring in the Digital Age: Is New Always Better?  Tom Wells, OFCCP District Director - Baltimore, will also be in attendance and speaking about OFCCP updates. Breakfast will be provided and 1.5 credits with HRCI and SHRM can be earned for attending the meeting.
Uncommon Opportunities: Solutions for Today's Workforce
JSSA Jewish Social Service Agency Serving Maryland DC and Northern Virginia
Thursday, April 4th, 2019 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
VisArts Rockville Town Center
155 Gibbs St, Rockville, MD 20850

Please join us for a special VIP networking breakfast event featuring an expert panel of companies, who in a very tight job market, are innovating in the workplace by employing adults with disabilities in partnership with JSSA.
We will also honor the success of two JSSA clients and the forward-thinking companies who understand their potential.

Deborah D’Attilio, District Human Resources Manager, Enterprise
Stacy Butler, Regional Learning Center Manager, Workforce Initiatives, CVS Kayla Smith, Owner, Operator, Chick-fil-A
Aaron Thompson, District Manager, Licensed Stores, Starbucks Coffee Company

Tickets are $50/per person
NBDC Webinar:
Trends in Diversity, Disability & Inclusion
National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center
Please join the National Business and Disability Council (NBDC) at the Viscardi Center for “Trends in Diversity, Disability & Inclusion.”

April 4, 2019
1:00 PM EST

The presenter is diversity strategist and risk mitigator, Torin Ellis. This webinar will help businesses learn how to identify stakeholders and frame the rewards of commitment over conversation. Torin will also share how specific companies are exploring solutions as well as the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and people analytics. With the constant threat of automation and innovation lurking, no company can rest on how they include people with disabilities in the talent acquisition conversation.

For questions, contact Scott Wright either by email at  or by phone at (516) 404-7133.

Participation is free, but space is limited
nTIDE Lunch & Learn

April 5, 2019 noon EST

Webinar Agenda

  • 12:00 pm: Overview of National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Jobs Report Release – Andrew Houtenville, UNH-IOD & John O'Neill, Kessler Foundation
  • 12:15 pm: News from the field of Disability Employment – Denise Rozell, AUCD
  • 12:30 pm: Guest Panelist - TBD 
  • 12:45 pm: Open Question & Answer period for attendees

If you missed previous webinars you can watch the nTIDE webinar recordings .
Autism at Work Virtual Career Fair

Friday, April 23, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM PDT

Registration deadline is March 15th.

No cost to employers to attend.
In for INclusion

2019 Disability:IN Annual Conference and Expo

July 15 - 18, 2018
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

Disability:IN has opened registration for the 2019 Annual Conference and Expo. Last year’s conference sold out and this year the event is expected to bring together more than 1,500 attendees from across the country. This year’s theme is “IN for INclusion”.
Shifting Gears in a Fast-Changing World.


Shifting Gears in a Fast-Changing World
July 30 through August 2, 2019

The theme of this year’s conference is “Shifting Gears in a Fast-Changing World.” The conference will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 30 through August 2, 2019. We will be looking for new and innovative presentations that recognize the many changes that practitioners in the EEO/AA field and that workers in general are facing. The RFP will provide you with some possible topics for the conference, but we welcome different, creative ideas that will be of value to conference attendees.

Director of OFCCP Craig Leen and Acting Chair of the EEOC Victoria Lipnic have confirmed their attendance at the 2019 NILG Conference in Milwaukee! 
At last year’s conference, Director Leen spoke at length about the OFCCP’s top priorities, outlining his goals for the agency in the coming year and gave contractors a preview of the many transformative changes we saw in 2018.

In 2018, the EEOC saw sexual harassment filings jump by 12% - the first increase in at least eight years. Expect Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic to address this topic and more at the conference.
Don’t miss your chance to hear cutting edge agency developments from these two influential leaders!

RIT. National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Save the Date: 
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
As you make your employee recruitment plans for 2019, the NTID Center on Employment (NCE) invites you to join us for the 19 th  annual Career Fair, Wednesday, October 16.

Registration opens in the spring and NCE will reach out with more information as the registration date approaches.
If you’re looking to:
  • Diversify your workforce.
  • Learn how to become an advocate for accessibility
  • Meet like-minded professionals in a new and exciting environment
The RIT/NTID career fair will help you meet your goals.
A record 54 companies, including Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Merck, NAVSEA, Texas Instruments, the CIA and Prudential Financial participated in the 2018 fair.
November 13 - 15, 2019
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The 2019 Mid-Atlantic ADA Update will provide a wide range of up-to-date information on ADA regulations and guidelines, as well as strategies and best practices for successful implementation of the law. Conference speakers will include subject-matter experts from federal, state, and local government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, and universities. The ADA Update will offer opportunities to network with other professionals with similar interests and concerns. Professional development hours from several accreditation organizations will also be available.
For more information visit the conference website
About Us
The DC Metro Business Leadership Network is an employer led non-profit that uses a business-to business model offering education, training programs and resources to change attitudes and address concerns of businesses so that they learn how to proactively include people with disabilities in the workforce, marketplace and supplier diversity.