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OICR Special Emphasis Programs

NOAA provides Special Emphasis Program's (SEPs) to support employees and staff members across many areas of cultural and personal diversity.  EEO and Diversity Program Managers, SEP Committees, and Employee Resource Groups are charged with identifying policies, procedures and practices affecting employees and advising management on actions which may increase participation and ensure that all persons are provided opportunities to participate in the full range of employment opportunities and achieve their fullest potential.  In addition to the benefits to employees and the organization, these programs assist in establishing and maintaining effective affirmative programs of equal employment opportunity under Section 717 of Title VII and effective affirmative action programs under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act.

NOAA staff can access NOAA's Special Emphasis Observance Schedule by clicking this!

Federal Women's Program (FWP)

This program was established to implement a recommendation of the President's Committee on the Status of Women and was later integrated into the Federal EEO Program after the issuance of E.O. 11478 (August 1969). The activities of the FWP focus on employment needs and issues of women as they relate to Federal personnel policies, practices, and equal program delivery.

The Federal Women’s Program (FWP) is also a regulatory program mandated in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The primary focus of the Federal Women’s Program is to address the employment needs (i.e., recruitment, training/educational, retention, upward mobility, career counseling, mentoring, developmental details, promotions, etc.) and barriers (i.e., sex discrimination, sexual harassment, equal pay, hostile work environment, gender disparity and stereotyping, or sexism, etc.) of women as they related to Federal employment policies, practices and procedures.

NOAA staff can click here to access Federally Women Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link

Hispanic Emphasis Program

Established initially by a Presidential Directive in 1970 as a Sixteen-Point Program for Spanish-Speaking Americans, this program is designed to assure consideration of the needs and concerns of persons of Hispanic origin in all aspects of Federal personnel management and program delivery. Hispanics are persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

This program is a mandated regulatory program that focuses on persons whose ethnic origins are from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central or South American, or other Spanish cultures, regardless of race.  Efforts are made to work with the Hispanic Associations of colleges and Universities (HACUs) as part of an outreach and recruitment process.  The program manager provides advice and guidance on matters affecting the employment, advancement, retention, and external participation of Hispanics in NOAA programs and activities.

NOAA staff can click here to access Hispanic Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link

Disability Emphasis Program

Organized action plans and procedures, which promote equal program delivery and the hiring, placement and advancement of employees with disabilities. The Selective Placement Program has its modern origins in P.L. 89-554, codified as 5 USC 7153 and Presidential policy statements and regulations issued pursuant thereto. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued instructions (501) on affirmative action plans for the handicapped.

This program is the principal source of Departmental policy, guidance and training on disability issues; i.e., addressing legal and other requirements for reasonable accommodation, program and facility accessibility and matters of disability awareness and sensitivity.  The following laws and Executive Orders address disability in the workplace:

  • Text of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 501 and 505 (link to EEOC web site) - the text of Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112) (Rehab. Act), as amended, as these sections appear in volume 29 of the United States Code, beginning at section 791. Section 501 prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the federal sector. Section 505 contains provisions governing remedies and attorney's fees under Section 501. Relevant definitions that apply to sections 501 and 505 precede these sections.
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 - Section 508 requires that Federal agencies must ensure comparable accessibility to persons with disabilities whenever that agency uses electronic or information technology, unless such access would impose an undue burden. This web site contains the text of Section 508, as amended, as well as other materials.
  • Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the federal government.
    • Executive Order 13078
      Increasing Employment of Adults with Disabilities, March 13, 1998.
    • Executive Order 13124
      Amending the Civil Service Rules Relating To Federal Employees With Psychiatric Disabilities, June 4, 1999.
    • Executive Order 13164
      Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation, October 20, 2000

Resources are available to staff and employers to help create a more inclusive and accessible workplace:

NOAA staff can click here to access Disability Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link

African-American or Black Emphasis Program (BEP)

The purpose of this program is to provide focus on issues such as equal program delivery and employment, promotion, training and career enhancement affecting Black employees and applicants in our agency.

This program focuses on people who have their ancestral and cultural roots in any of the Black racial groups of the African continent. Similar to the other special emphasis programs, the program manager provides advice and guidance on matters affecting the employment, advancement, retention and external participation of African Americans in al NOAA program and activities.

NOAA staff can click here to access African-American or Black Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link

American Indian Emphasis Program (AIP)

The purpose of this program is to provide focus on issues such as equal program delivery and the employment, promotion, training and career enhancement affecting American Indian employees and applicants in our agency.

This initiative focuses on American Indians and Alaska Natives who have origins in any of the original people of North America, and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.  Program Managers provide advice and guidance on matters affecting the employment, advancement, retention and external participation of Native American in all NOAA programs and activities.  Outreach efforts for employment and to community organizations must be specific and designed around equal trust, commitment and collective communication with tribal government officials.

NOAA staff can click here to access American Indian Alaska Native Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link

Asian American Pacific Islander Emphasis Program (APIP)

The purpose of this program is to provide focus on issues such as equal program delivery and employment, promotion, training and career enhancement affecting Asian American employees and applicants in agency.

This initiative focuses on a diverse group of people who have their origins in countries such as India, Japan, the Philippines, or any Pacific Island, such as Samoa or Guam. Similar to the other special emphasis programs, the program manager provides advice and guidance on matters affecting the employment, advancement, retention and external participation of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in all NOAA programs and activities.

NOAA staff can click here to access the Asian American Pacific Islander Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Emphasis Program (LGBT)

The purpose of this program is to provide focus on issues such as equal program delivery and employment, promotion, training and career enhancement affecting LBGT employees and applicants in our agency.

This program focuses on people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Similar to the other special emphasis programs, the program manager provides advice and guidance on matters affecting the employment, advancement, retention and external participation of these individuals in all NOAA programs and activities.

NOAA staff can click here to access the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Emphasis Program internal group resources.offsite link