Within the same week last month, we received two news items relating to the same company:

#1: The Department of Labor (DOL) announced a National Hiring Partnership between DOL and Home Depot (HD) to use the "One-Stop Career Centers" to help recruit trained workers.

#2: The Wall Street Journal on June 18, 2002 reported that, "In a memo last month to its 1,300 stores nationwide, the home-improvement retailer (Home Depot) instructed managers not to do business with one of the largest buyers of goods and services in the world - the U.S. Government. The memo states that stores shouldn't accept federal government credit cards¿and shouldn't accept purchase orders from federal officials."

As for Item #1, ASA is in discussions with the DOL to express real concern about this type of program between large business and the DOL, and to inform them that HD is one of our main competitors. A meeting will soon take place with DOL to determine if the same type of program will be made available to ASA members and other small businesses. We've also contacted the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy expressing concerns that the HD project has the appearance of excluding small businesses.

As for Item #2, no comment necessary. Hello! Is anybody out there?!!?