During a week in which Washington D.C. experienced a historic visit from the Pope, those in the government contractor community had a celebration of their own – the 50th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 11246.  The celebrations kicked off on September 24, 2015 – the actual 50th anniversary – with a celebratory reception hosted by The OFCCP Institute.  Numerous former OFCCP Directors joined the celebration and shared memories of their time with the Agency.

In addition to reminiscing about the history of the Executive Order and celebrating the contractor community’s achievements in furthering the goal of equality in the American workplace, the reception was also a time to focus on the future and the Order’s impact on generations to come.

As part of the evening’s celebrations, The OFCCP Institute unveiled a new scholarship for Washington D.C. high school students.  In its inaugural year, the scholarship fund will award $40,000 in scholarships based on essay submissions on the importance of Executive Order 11246.

The event also featured a preview of a full length documentary about the history of the Executive Order.  Once complete the video will become part of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

Continuing the celebrations the next morning, the U.S. Department of Labor hosted an event at the Department of Labor.  Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez addressed attendees in the standing-room only Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Auditorium.  The crowd also heard from Congressmen James E. Clyburn and G.K. Butterfield, the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

During her address, OFCCP Director Pat Shiu announced the upcoming release of an educational video addressing the importance of Section 503 and the need for self-identification.  Following Director Shiu’s remarks, Secretary Perez moderated a panel discussion of the history and impact of the Executive Order.

All in all, it was a historic week in Washington D.C. and a wonderful celebration of the impact and import of Executive Order 11246.