Special Emphasis Program

Special Emphasis Program

Description of the Program: TThe Special Emphasis Program's goal is to address issues critical to increasing productivity, and to increase our diverse workforce by providing information/programs for people of different races, backgrounds, and heritage to get together for an hour to share information.

Three Special Emphasis Program areas are specifically required by law:

Hispanic Employment Program – Title 5 CFR, Subpart B, 720.204 – was established to implement sixteen actions focusing on the employment of Hispanics in the Federal Government. The significance of the "16 Point Program" was that for the first time the Federal Government acknowledged that Hispanic Americans were underrepresented in the Federal workforce. Subsequently, the U.S. Civil Service Commission (now the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)) had the responsibility for developing and implementing the program. This program provided guidance and information to all Federal agencies. It also directed many initiatives to improve the severe underrepresentation of Hispanics in the Federal workforce.

Federal Women's Program –5 U.S.C. 7201; 38 U.S.C. 4214; Title 5 CFR, Subpart B, 720.204 – The DTRA Federal Women's Program is an integral part of the agency's internal affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs. Its purpose is to assure that all women regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, or handicap receive:

  • equal treatment in all phases of employment including placement in jobs at levels for which they are qualified,
  • training and development in accordance with their abilities and agency needs,
  • opportunities for career development and upward mobility, and
  • recognition for outstanding service and achievements

Individuals with Disabilities Program – Selective Placement Program for Individuals With Disabilities – Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act; Title 5 U.S.C. Subpart B, Chapter 31, Subchapter I-3102; 5 CFR 213.3102(t) and (u); 5 CFR 315.709 – AAccording to U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Government: An Employment Guide, Federal agency managers and supervisors are responsible for the employment and advancement of individuals with disabilities which includes training and career development. Therefore, it is essential for DTRA managers and supervisors to provide training and career development for our employees with disabilities enhancing them with the development of job skills and tools needed to perform their jobs more productively. Our goal is to give these individuals training opportunities and help them advance beyond entry-level positions.

The following are DTRA Employment Initiatives

Schedule A

Schedule A can be a fast track way for Federal Agencies to bring onboard talented individuals with disabilities. Schedule A is an excellent way to tap into a diverse and vibrant talent pool without going through the traditional hiring process. If an applicant meets the Schedule A eligibility requirements and the minimum qualifications for the position he or she is interested in, the applicant may be hired for the position without competing with the general public. Schedule A can be used to hire people in all professions from clerical staff to attorneys.

Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)

The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to demonstrate their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

Candidates apply to the WRP each fall through participating campuses managed by a School Coordinator. They are interviewed and pre-screened by federal employees who serve as volunteer recruiters. Candidates represent all majors, and range from college freshmen to graduate - and law-school students. Information from these candidate interviews is compiled in a searchable database that is available to employers.

WRP is recognized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as a model strategy in its guidance to federal agencies regarding the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities. Since the program's expansion in 1995, thousands of students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.

WRP is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Diversity Management Operations Center (DMOC)


Regulations and Laws:

29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1630

29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1614.203; Rehabilitation Act

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 701), as amended

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

The EI Office identifies and participates with these other Special Emphasis' Programs:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday (January)
  • African American/Black History Month (February)
  • Women’s History Month (March)
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Gay and Lesbian Pride Month (June)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary (July 26)
  • Women's Equality Day – Statement (August 26)
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15)
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October)
  • National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)

DTRA joins with the other Headquarter EEO Offices in the celebration of the above special observances with appropriate programs and awareness activities to enhance cross-cultural awareness. It is an opportunity to recognize the current achievements and historical contributions made by members of specific racial or ethnic groups in our society. Types of activities include performers and guest speakers in the culture or issue, proclamations, and exhibits.

If you have any questions about the Special Emphasis Program, please email:
or call 703-767-4451.