OFCCP Disclaims Jurisdiction Over Participants in the Defense Department’s SkillBridge Job Training Program
On November 8, 2019, OFCCP released another opinion letter clarifying the extent of its jurisdiction over government contractors. In the letter, OFCCP opined that participants in the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge Program are not government contractors subject to the obligations of Executive Order 11246, as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, or VEVRAA.
The SkillBridge Program aims to provide service members with opportunities to gain civilian work experience and training by matching service members with civilian employers and allowing service members to receive civilian on-the-job training during their last 180 days of military service. OFCCP reasoned that the SkillBridge Program does not qualify as a procurement contract because the government does not obtain property or services for its direct benefit. Accordingly, the program is more akin to a cooperative or grant agreement, which is not a government contract.
As in its earlier opinion letter regarding Pell Grants, OFCCP in the SkillBridge Program opinion letter takes a more conservative approach to its jurisdiction in the context of government programs that are not traditional procurement contracts. Polsinelli will continue to update the contractor community on OFCCP developments.