Presidents and Affirmative Action

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Presidents and Affirmative Action

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors to undertake affirmative action to increase the number of minorities that they employ. He wanted to ensure that minorities were recruited to have real opportunities to be hired and then eventually get a promotion.

In 1969, the Department of Labor exposed widespread racial discrimination of the Construction Department so President Richard M. Nixon decided to encorporate a system of "goals and timetables" to evaluate federal construction companies according to affirmative action. This idea of "goals and timetables" provided guidelines for companies to follow and comply with affirmative action regulations.

During the presidency of Gerald R. Ford, he extended affirmative action to people with disabilities (3) and Vietnam veterns (4) but there were no goals or timetables for these two groups. This type of affirmative action required recruitment efforts, accessability, accommodation and reviews of physical and mental job qualifications.

President Jimmy Carter consolidated all federal agencies that were required by law to follow the affirmative action play into the Department of Labor. Before Carter did this, each agency handled affirmative action in its own individual way, some were not as consistent

as other agencies were. He created the Office
of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) in 1978 to ensure compliance with the affirmative action policies.

Affirmative action began to go downhill when Ronald Reagan and later George Bush came into office. Affirmative action lost some gains it had made and was mor or less ignored by the Republicans in the White House and in Congress. Affirmative action was silently being "killed" by our federal administrators. But among this destruction there was one positive aspect, the passage of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (5).

Finally to the...
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