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AEP, SEPMS help people appreciate diversity in Robins’ workforce

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Everyone brings something different to the table.

It's a commonly used phrase that has great meaning in how people of different backgrounds and life experiences come together to meet the mission at Robins Air Force Base.

At Robins, and at other U.S. Air Force installations, the Affirmative Employment Program; which ensures positive action is taken in all personnel administration and management matters, including recruitment, employment and promotion, capitalizes on the differences people bring to the warfighting mission.

Special Emphasis Program managers are an integral part of the overall Equal Employment Opportunity and AEP mission to enhance employment, development and advancement opportunities of specific groups, including women, minorities and individuals with disabilities. They receive technical oversight and guidance from the AEP.

Rhonda Bridges, lead Special Emphasis Program manager, said the AEP and SEPMs help ensure the mission represents a diverse culture that will provide a worldwide sustainment management support for the entire installation. 

Lesley Glover-Daniely, Robins Affirmative Employment Program manager, said SEPMs help Robins' workforce see differences as assets to the mission, teaching Air Force employees, supervisors, and managers to appreciate, value, understand and celebrate social and cultural similarities and differences.

She added that SEPMs also address the unique concerns of minorities, women, people with disabilities, and people with various sexual orientations in achieving equal opportunity in all aspects of employment.

Each Air Force installation is authorized six SEPMs. The number is based on the six Special Emphasis Programs mandated and implemented by presidential executive orders, federal laws, regulations and personnel programs established by the Office of Personnel Management to assist in elimination of demographic group imbalances in targeted occupations and to enhance the achievement of workforce diversity.

The Air Force doesn't mandate a quota regarding the hiring of different race/ethnicities; however, on July 26, 2015, President Obama issued Executive Order 13548, which provides that the federal government, as the nation's largest employer, must become a model for the employment of individuals with disabilities.

The order directs executive departments and agencies to improve their efforts to employ federal workers with disabilities and targeted disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring and retention.

"This is not only the right thing to do, but it's also good for the government as it increases the potential pool of highly qualified people from which the federal government draws its talent," Glover-Daniely said.

The executive order calls for the hiring of 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal government over five years, including individuals with targeted disabilities.

The targeted disabilities goal is 2 percent and 8 percent for people with disabilities in general.

What to know:
For more information, visit http://airforcelive.dodlive.mil/2012/09/diversity-makes-a-stronger-air-force-aug-9-2012/#sthash.uD4p2LAl.dpuf.