NOAA Affirmative Employment Programs

Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs) are designed to assist the organization 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. EEO & Diversity Program Managers and SEP Committees 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.

The NOAA Civil Rights Office (CRO) also conducts annual cultural awareness programs and special observances to celebrate the diversity of our employees. These programs typically consist of speeches, lectures, films, and other events which add to employees' understanding and appreciation of their own and other cultures.

Hispanic Employment Program (HEP)

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.  To increase the awareness on the many diverse Hispanic cultures, EEO & Diversity Program Managers presents programs during Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 of each year.

Federal Women’s Program (FWP)

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.

Disability Employment Program (PWD)

The purpose of this program is to assist NOAA in providing equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, and eliminate barriers to the meaningful employment of people with disabilities within the NOAA workforce.  The objective is for NOAA to become a model workplace in its employment of persons with disabilities.  The focus of this special emphasis program is to ensure disabled employees are represented in a broad range of grade levels and occupational series commensurate with their qualifications, and that NOAA policies do not unnecessarily exclude or limit persons with disabilities because of job structure, design, or because of architectural, transportation, communication, procedural, or attitudinal barriers.  Request to accommodate persons with disabilities by providing job modifications, assistive devices, or other services are coordinated through the servicing EEO & Diversity Program Manager.  Programs are presented during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October of each year.

Although specific programs are not mandated under statute for every EEO Group, NOAA coordinates special observances, as well as promote activities that focus on the recruitment, retention and advancement of several other communities.

American Indian/Alaska Natives

This initiative focuses on American Indians and Alaskan 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.  The NOAA Civil Rights Office and the EEO Community presents programs during American Indian Heritage Month in November of each year.

Asian American/Pacific Islanders

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.  Programs are presented during Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May of each year.

African American/Black Employment Program

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.  Programs and activities are presented each year in February, which is officially designated as Black History Month.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community