Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, Vice President Biden announced two new rules that will improve job opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities.

One rule updates the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, or VEVRAA. The other updates Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both rules add – for the first time – real metrics to the affirmative action obligations that federal contractors and subcontractors have been required to meet for nearly 40 years. By our estimation, if every company subject to these rules were to achieve the goals and benchmarks we’ve laid out, nearly 600,000 qualified workers with disabilities and 200,000 protected veterans would be added to the workforce in just the first year!

This Friday, September 13, I invite you to join the Labor Department (@USDOL) for a Twitter chat to discuss these new rules.

I will be tweeting along with my colleagues Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez from DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and National Programs Director Ruth Samardick from the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). We are also excited to welcome our friends Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (@AAPD_CEO) and Jill Houghton, Executive Director of the US Business Leadership Network (@USBLN).

During this chat, you’ll have the chance to ask these experts questions about what the new rules mean for federal contractors and for millions of American workers.

To join the discussion, tweet using the hashtag #AccessJobs between 2 and 3 p.m. EDT on Friday. You can also submit your questions in advance by using that same hashtag or by sending an e-mail to If you can’t make it to the chat, a full recap will be posted on the DOL blog next week.

I look forward to tweeting with you!


Pat Shiu