FEDERAL-AID POLICY GUIDE
December 9, 1991, Transmittal 1
YOUTH OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (EXTERNAL)
- PURPOSE. To actively promote employment opportunities for disadvantaged
youths, ages 16-21, by the State highway agencies, contractors, vendors, material
suppliers, subcontractors, consultants, motor carriers, and county and local
governments. The activity offers affirmative action potential for employment
of minorities and women consistent with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Civil Rights-Equal Opportunity Program goals.
- AUTHORITY. Executive Order 11330, issued by the President in 1967, established the President's Council on Youth Opportunity.
- POLICY. It is the policy of FHWA to actively promote and encourage
employment of youths, especially those considered disadvantaged. Every effort
should be made to identify work which can afford the participants meaningful experiences.
- Youths - men and women ages 16 to 21 years.
- Economically Disadvantaged - determined from guidelines taken
from the Department of Labor (DOL) definition of "poor" which is
established by income level. The DOL publishes in April of each year a new
listing based on the cost-of-living index.
- The earnings gained during the summer have enabled many youths to return
to school in the fall. Experienced personnel managers know that young people
can develop marketable skills through this work experience, and have supported
the External Youth Opportunity Program (EYOP) with enthusiasm. Many summer
aides eventually join the ranks of the permanent employees of the State and
of the contractors' work forces. The tangible results achieved in the EYOP
have made this program a viable part of the FHWA Equal Employment Opportunity
and Civil Rights Programs.
- It should be emphasized that jobs for youths, who are relatively unskilled,
do not conflict with job opportunities for adults. Rates of pay for youths
are usually minimum compared to labor rates for adults.
- The Solicitor of Labor issued Memorandum No. 96 referring to summer employment
of youths on federally financed and federally assisted construction projects.
It provided that DOL would take no exception to the practice of paying summer
employees below the predetermined journey level rate pursuant to a bona
fide EYOP. The Secretary of Transportation has expressed Department of
Transportation policy on the EYOP in a series of memorandums. Predating those
memorandums is correspondence of the Bureau of Public Roads and FHWA on the
EYOP issued periodically since 1967.
- APPLICABILITY. The EYOP will be promoted and implemented in all States,
the District of Columbia, andPuerto Rico. It is not limited to programs financed
as Federal or Federal-aid projects. The promotion of employment of youths may
extend to public (State, county, or local) and privately financed employment
in highway or transportation related industries.
- Information on the EYOP objectives should be disseminated in January
of each year. The promotional approach should be positive and reflect the
commitment of the office (agency) head to stimulate enthusiasm for the program.
- Advice and assistance should be provided from region to division and
State staffs and, further, to contractors and their associations, subcontractors,
vendors, suppliers, and truckers' associations regarding sources of disadvantaged
youth referral including minority and female organizations, schools, and churches.
- Promotional efforts should be systematic. The EYOP promotional campaign
should be planned to address those areas with the highest potential return
on investment considering the funds available; the employment situation in
the tar get States; the needs of employers and potential EYOP participants;
and the constraints imposed by time and availabilities for employment. Efforts
should include but not be limited to:
(1) Gaining the broadest scope of community participation in
the program. Every effort should be made to contact regional repre sentatives
of minority and female organiza tions and contractor association chapters
to obtain assistance in promoting the EYOP.
(2) Identifying previous EYOP participants now working for a
State, subrecipients, or con tractors, and publicizing their progress as
part of the promotional effort.
(3) Making positive incentives available, such as letters of
recognition to employers for exceptional levels of productive employment of youths.
(4) Formally recognizing exceptional performance by program participants
and using the information to publicize the next year's EYOP effort.
(5) Establishing contact with high school, local college, and
university counselors to inform them of job opportunities in highway construction,
maintenance and administra tion, and related areas.
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