The Department of Labor plans to phase out America’s Job Bank over the next year, according to notices DOL sent to state officials earlier this year that are posted on the Web site for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
Rationale for the phase-out
DOL’s rationale for discontinuing America’s Job Bank was that the benefits of the national job site no longer outweighed the costs of operating and maintaining the system. DOL also pointed out that since AJB was started over a decade ago, most states have developed or purchased their own Internet-based job banks and the private sector has caught up and produced numerous nationwide job sites and thousands of other specialty sites. Emily Stover DeRocco, Assistant Secretary for DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, said in her letter to the state workforce agencies that ETA is proceeding with plans to phase out AJB by June 30, 2007.
Not a Surprise
DOL’s decision to terminate America’s Job Bank should not come as a complete surprise. The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2007 budget request for DOL, which was released in February 2006, proposed eliminating the funding for AJB (see page 66 of the linked file) with a complete phase-out of the job board in 2007. DOL stated in this budget proposal that it had been phasing out its support of AJB given the growth of private sector job banks and the continued availability of state-run banks to serve job seekers and employers.
What is AJB?
America’s Job Bank, which was created in 1995, is considered the “biggest and busiest job market in cyberspace." According to the AJB Web site, the CareerOneStop is a collection of electronic tools managed as a federal-state partnership, and operated through grants to New York and Minnesota, in partnership with the other states and private sector organizations. The free site is said to list approximately two million jobs and more than 680,000 resumes.
Alternatives to AJB
Because DOL has not formally announced the phase-out of America’s Job Bank to the employer community, it is not certain what alternatives it will ultimately make available or recommend to federal contractors to meet their job posting requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) once AJB has been phased-out in 2007.
Proposed Veterans’ Regulation
However, given the ETA documents discussed above, it is likely that DOL will expect federal contractors to rely on private job boards on the Internet, as well as online state job banks. This approach is consistent with DOL’s proposed rule to implement amendments by the 2002 Jobs for Veterans Act to the affirmative action provisions of VEVRAA, which would require contractors to list their openings “with the appropriate service delivery system,” or in other words, with individual employment service offices. DOL has not yet finalized these regulations.
DCI will continue to monitor developments on the America’s Job Bank phase-out and will update you as information becomes available.