From: The Honorable Ed Whitfield
Sent By:
Date: 4/11/2014

Closing Today:

Job Corps and DOL’s Implementation of the “Rule of Two”

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in sending a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, regarding the Department of Labor’s (DOL) current implementation of the “Rule of Two” in awarding Job Corps center operations contracts.

The “Rule of Two” states that the contracting officer “shall set aside any acquisition over $150,000 for small business participation when there is a reasonable expectation that two conditions are satisfied: offers will be obtained from at least two responsible small business concerns, and award will be made at fair market value.” DOL’s current application of the “Rule of Two” prohibits incumbent Job Corps center operators from re-competing their own contracts, even when their centers are high performing.  While we certainly support the expansion of small businesses in the awarding of federal contracts, we believe the mission of Job Corps is unique and the primary consideration for DOL in awarding contracts should be the education and training of at-risk youth.  It simply does not make sense that a contractor, operating a high-performing Job Corps center, would be barred from re-competing for that contract.

The Conference Report for the Consolidated Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2014 included language that suggested that DOL give full and fair consideration to the federal investment already made in high-performing incumbent contractors when issuing operations and maintenance contracts for Job Corps Centers.  In light of this provision, our letter asks DOL to develop a strategy to alter their procurement policy for Job Corps contracts as it relates to the “Rule of Two” and to report back to Congress within 90 days.

We ask that you join us in support of Job Corps and ensuring DOL’s process for awarding contracts remains fair and open.  If you need additional information or would like to sign onto the letter please contact Melissa Buchanan in Congressman Whitfield’s office (, Sean Strebel in Congressman Matheson’s office (, or Jared Bass in Congressman Fattah’s office (  Thank you for your consideration.


Ed Whitfield                                         Jim Matheson                                       Chaka Fattah

Member of Congress                            Member of Congress                            Member of Congress