HISTORY OF INDUSTRY LIAISON GROUPS
(Source: National Industry Liaison Group website)
In the early 1980s, in anticipation of new regulations for Executive Order 11246, Ellen Shong (now Shong-Bergman), then Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Department of Labor, encourages open communications between industry and the OFCCP through Industry Liaison Groups ("ILGs") in a memo dated January 29, 1982.
Representatives from government contractors began forming ILGs in the Department of Labor (DOL) regions around the country and asked for technical assistance from OFCCP regarding compliance issues. The concept initially took hold in Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington), but through encouragement from the OFCCP Director’s office, ILGs began popping up all around the country.
Both the OFCCP and industry were eager to put aside the confrontational relationship they had formed over time. Both sides wanted to develop more positive partnerships to achieve their mutual affirmative action and equal opportunity goals.
In 1983 in New Orleans, the first annual National Industry Liaison Group ("NILG") conference was held. Each year since, the nation's foremost affirmative action officers from business, industry, and education gather together with OFCCP officials to discuss mutual goals and objectives and to focus on continuing cooperative efforts.
ILGs have formed voluntarily to create a unique partnership of public and private sector cooperation to deal proactively with important social issues and reaching mutual goals. ILGs are wide-reaching models of cooperation.