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Introducing Section 503: Creating New Opportunities for Ticket Holders. Social Security ’ s Ticket to Work Program Operations Support Manager. Learning Objectives. Identify the types of Federal contractors that fall under the Section 503 rules.

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Introducing Section 503: Creating New Opportunities for Ticket Holders

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introducing section 503 creating new opportunities for ticket holders

Introducing Section 503: Creating New Opportunities for Ticket Holders

Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program Operations Support Manager

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Identify the types of Federal contractors that fall under the Section 503 rules.
  • Provide a very brief overview of what the new 503 rules require of Federal contractors.
  • Explore how Employment Networks (ENs) can use the new 503 rules to expand the opportunities available for beneficiaries to gain and sustain good jobs and careers that can lead to better self-supporting futures.
  • Learn to locate Federal contractors and research the employment opportunities they offer in your local area.
  • Highlight the importance of developing partnerships with existing referral sources such as American Job Centers (AJCs) and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies.

“These new rules are a win-win. They will benefit veterans and people with disabilities, who belong in the economic mainstream of the nation but have faced unfair barriers in the job market. They will benefit employers who do business with the federal government, increasing their access to a large, diverse pool of qualified workers. And they will benefit the entire nation, as these rules help us fulfill the American promise of equal opportunity for all.”

Tom Perez, Secretary

U.S. Department of Labor

Official Blog of U.S. Department of Labor

August 27, 2013

federal contractor 503 obligations based on the size of the contract and number of employees
Federal Contractor 503 Obligations Based on the Size of the Contract and Number of Employees
  • Affirmative Action requirements apply to all Federal contractors and subcontractors with $10,000 or more in awards. (41 CFR 60 Section 741.44)
  • Federal contractors/subcontractors must prepare and maintain an Affirmative Action Program (AAP) if they have $50,000 or more in awards and 50 or more employees. (41 CFR 60 Section 741.44)
  • Federal contractors are required to undertake appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities—reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified individuals with disabilities. Examples of such outreach and recruitment activities include but are not limited to enlisting the assistance and support of such groups as:
    • American Job Centers
    • State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies
    • Employment Networks and local disability organizations
    • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs
    • Disability Student Services offices at universities and community colleges
section 503 requirements
Section 503 Requirements
  • Prohibits Federal contractors (and organizations subcontracting with them) from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities.
  • The new rules strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to help Federal contractors in their efforts to recruit, employ, train, promote and retain individuals with disabilities, and improve job opportunities for them.
  • Current Federal contractors with a written Affirmative Action Program (AAP) already in place on the effective date of the new rules will have additional time to come into compliance with the new AAP requirements.
  • Final rules published on September 24, 2013, and changes become effective on March 24, 2014, 180 days from publication.
  • For more information visit:
key changes of interest to ens
Key Changes of Interest to ENs
  • Establishes a nationwide 7 percent utilization goal for employing qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • Employers can meet the 7 percent goal by:
    • Inviting current employees to self-identify
    • Inviting applicants to self-identify
  • Requires that Federal contractors document and update annually, quantitative comparisons for the number of individuals with disabilities who apply for jobs and the number hired.
  • For more information, visit:
federal contractor employment opportunities
Federal Contractor Employment Opportunities
  • Of the 155,486,000 civilians in the U.S. workforce as of August 2013, approximately 22%, or an estimated 34 million workers, are employed by over 200,000 Federal contractors and subcontractor companies.
  • Nearly $700 billion in Federal funds (roughly 14% of the Federal budget) was spent on Federal contracts in FY 2012.
  • To meet the 7% utilization goal established in Section 503, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that Federal contractors would need to hire an additional 594,580 individuals with disabilities.


Bureau of Labor Statistics on line report at:

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U. S. Department of Labor,

CNN Money July 2012 Report on line at:

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (

Federal Register (

types of employment opportunities
Types of Employment Opportunities

Examples of activities funded under Federal contracts:

  • Information technology and website development
  • Research and demonstration projects
  • Training and technical assistance
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Landscaping and pruning
  • Guard duty/building security
  • Food services, e.g., serving meals for soldiers and veterans
  • Printing and copying

Note: Section 503 rules apply to all positions, at all training and education levels, with a Federal contractor company.

federal contractor organizations
Federal Contractor Organizations

Some of the regional/national organizations representing the interests of Federal contractors.

  • The National Industry Liaison Group (
  • Regional Industry Liaison Groups (access links on the national website listed above)
  • The Associated General Contractors of America (
  • The Professional Services Council(
using federal data banks and resources
Using Federal Data Banks and Resources

The Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG): Use the FPDS-NG website to access data that provides details on the procurement activities of more than 60 Federal departments. Review the Successful Search Techniques section prior to using the system. Visit:

General Services Administration (GSA): Use the GSA Subcontracting Directory to locate large prime contractors who have received Federal contracts, other than construction, valued at over $650,000; and large prime contractors who have received Federal contracts for construction valued at over $1.5 million. Visit:

Register Your EN with OFCCP: ENs should register on the DOL OFCCP Employment Resource Referral Directory (ERRD) visit:

search results examples from federal procurement data system
Search Results Examples from Federal Procurement Data System

Landscaping/Lawn Service

Melwood Horticultural Training Center (Ability One Contractor), Upper Marlboro, MD, Department of the Army – Fort Meade, MD, Award: $84,870,423, awarded 6/2011, completion expected 6/2016 (4 option years).

(SEARCH: Melwood, MD, Ability One, by date signed)

Computers Equipment and Support

Dell Federal Systems Limited Partnership, Round Rock, TX, Environmental Protection Agency, Round Rock, TX, Award: $276,616, awarded 9/2013 completion expected 11/2013, (equipment order).

(SEARCH: Dell Computers, TX, by date signed)

examples of search results cont
Examples of Search Results (cont.)

Military Equipment

Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita, KS, Award: $319,770,400,

Department of the Air Force, Pentagon, VA, performance – Wichita, KS,

awarded 6/2013 completion expected 7/2014 (equipment order).

(SEARCH: Aircraft, KS, by date, by action obligation, i.e., amount)

Food Service

Lakeview Center Inc, Pensacola, FL, Bureau of the Public Debt – Armed Forces Retirement Home, Gulfport, MS, Award: $9,058,477, awarded 10/2013, completion expected 10/2014 (one year).

(SEARCH: “Food Service”, Florida, by Date, by action obligation)

Guard/Security Service

Cypress Security, LLC, San Francisco, CA, Department of Veterans Affairs, Sacramento, CA, Award:$5,219,353, Date awarded 10/2013 – completion expected 9/2017, (4 option years). (SEARCH: “Security Guards”, CA, by date)


Federal Procurement Data System at:

General Services Administration at:

if you know the company is a federal contractor
If You Know the Company is a Federal Contractor

If you know the company is a Federal contractor through common knowledge or by GSA or FPDS research, you may:

  • Search the company’s website: Look for references to human resources, careers, hiring, recruitment, job openings
  • Go to your state or local American Job Center (AJC – previously called One-Stop Career Centers) and search for jobs in your geographic area. The AJC serving your area can be found by accessing a clickable state map at:
  • Use Private Sector Meta Search Engines by Company Name (see slide 22).
using the public job search engine
Using the Public Job Search Engine
  • Go to your State or local AJC or access the State AJC website that list jobs throughout the State. Use online job-seeker resources, conduct a search with the company’s name for current job postings, search by job type, etc.
  • Remember, employers with awards of $100,000 or more are strongly encouraged to post their job openings with an employment service delivery system such as a One-Stop Career Center or an American Job Center, the State VR agency or an EN.
using public job search resources cont
Using Public Job Search Resources (cont.)

Affirmative action search using the American Job Centers’ system – To see which affirmative action employers are posting jobs with your State and local AJCs:

  • Enter any state or local AJC as a job-seeker.
  • Use the on-line search tools and key word searches to identify affirmative action employers and job openings. For example, use a job title or category (e.g. accountant or accounting) or key skill set words coupled with the term AA (affirmative action) and define the geographic parameters in the search (e.g. Milwaukee, WI). This will generate a list of job openings with employers in the Milwaukee area who have identified themselves as Affirmative Action employers.
private sector meta search engines by company name
Private Sector Meta Search Engines by Company Name

Search using the available search tools, key occupation or skill set words, and using the terms “affirmative action” and/or “equal opportunity employer” with geographic parameters. (Technology jobs)

partnering with existing partners
Partnering with Existing Partners
  • The majority of Federal contractors have established relationships with their local workforce agency (AJCs, comprehensive One-Stop Centers, etc.) and/or their State VR agency.
  • Reach out to the AJCs serving your community and discuss partnering to fill jobs with Federal contractors under Section 503
    • Talk about the service your EN offers.
    • Discuss referral sources, screening, ongoing supports, etc.
    • Learn more about partnering with established partners during the January 2014 All EN call.
start planning now
Start Planning Now
  • Begin developing expertise and becoming familiar with Federal contractor opportunities and Section 503 requirements.
  • Research Federal contractors in your area now.
  • Reach out to Federal contractors, AJCs, and your State VR agency to establish relationships prior to March 2014. Tell them about your services. Offer assistance in identifying resources. Discuss establishing a partnership and a system for referring qualified job applicants.
  • Start developing marketing materials targeted specifically to Federal contractor employers.
  • Start creating internal screening and training components that can be used to identify qualified beneficiaries and prepare them to apply for positions with Federal contractors.
secretary perez on new 503 rules
Secretary Perez on New 503 Rules

“Being a federal contractor is a privilege − one that comes with the reasonable responsibility to abide by the law and provide equal employment opportunity to all workers. Today’s new rules make those expectations clearer and more meaningful. We will continue to work with all stakeholders as they implement these changes, promoting opportunity and access for millions of workers across thousands of workplaces.”

Tom Perez, Secretary

U.S. Department of Labor

August 27, 2013

for more information
For More Information

Contact OFCCP

  • Visit the OFCCP website:
  • Call OFCCP toll-free: 1-800-397-6251 (TTY: 1-877-889-5627)
  • Email OFCCP:
  • Contact or visit the OFCCP field office nearest you. The OFCCP office directory is available at:

Visit the Your Ticket to Work website at: (key word search - Section 503)

Attend OESP monthly Section 503 training series