Don Hanson, (509) 323-2949
Emphasis Program Manager
Saludos! My name is Don Hanson, and I represent the Hispanic
community in Washington State as the Hispanic Emphasis Program Manager.
I am here to serve you on our Civil Rights Advisory Committee to carry
out the program goals and objectives.
I know our state well since I was born and raised here, and my
experience pertinent to serving as HEPM is strong having lived and
worked with Hispanics in Central and South America for ten years,
Central Washington for 1 ½ years, and Southern California for two years.
My technical experiences are concentrated in agricultural engineering,
small scale irrigation, organic farming, hillslope hydrology, structural
engineering, and soil physics.
With NRCS, I have served as Field Office Engineer in California and
Design Engineer with the Multi-State Design Team in Spokane, Washington.
The Hispanic Emphasis Program (HEP) addresses the unique concerns of
Hispanics with respect to providing equal employment opportunity in all NRCS
personnel management policies and practices and in NRCS-sponsored programs and
A Hispanic, Latino, or Latina is a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South
or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any
race or color.
The Hispanic Emphasis Program is an integral part of the equal employment
opportunity (EEO) program and focuses on helping Hispanics to:
Ensure that Hispanics receive equal treatment in all aspects of
Increase the number of Hispanics employed in all professional,
administrative, technical, clerical, and other categories, series, and grade
Provide opportunities to participate in training, career development,
and leadership programs.
Encourage the participation of Hispanics in all NRCS-sponsored programs
Provide a network of professional support for Hispanics.
Provide mentoring support to Hispanics in the workforce.
Educate all NRCS employees by raising the level of awareness of Hispanic
workplace issues and concerns.
HEPM Duties and Responsibilities:
At the Washington State level, my position is as the collateral duty Hispanic
Emphasis Program Manager. Following are my duties and responsibilities in this
Advise the directors and State Conservationists on matters affecting the
employment and advancement of Hispanics.
Serve as a member to the civil rights committee in their organizational
units to ensure that all NRCS activities are free from discrimination and
that barriers to the recruitment, employment, and advancement of Hispanics
are addressed. HEPMs assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the overall
equal opportunity program in their organizational units and assist in
identifying new and changing program needs.
Coordinate or conduct educational programs (e.g., workshops, seminars,
or other types of programs, such as HEP observances).
Maintain close contact with community organizations for possible job
referrals of Hispanic applicants and stay attuned to concerns of the
Attend job fairs or other functions at local high schools, colleges, and
universities to obtain names of applicants and provide information on job
opportunities; send recruitment literature to schools and community groups;
sponsor workshops and speakers, information booths at conferences, career
days, and other training programs.
Keep the national HEPM informed of field activities affecting Hispanics.
Serve as local representative at national, regional, and State meetings
concerning Hispanic issues.
Serve as a communication link between employees and the national HEPM,
keeping State employees aware of HEP activities and developmental
opportunities through electronic messages, memos, bulletins, newsletters,
and other appropriate means.
Perform other duties related to the HEP as identified by the Deputy
Equal Opportunity Officer, national HEPM, and HEP committees, as
We Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15:
The Hispanic community contributes in thousands of meaningful ways to the
overall culture and well-being of our nation. Our understanding of this is
important, and each year, from September 15 - October 15, NRCS celebrates
National Hispanic Heritage Month to honor achievements of Hispanics in America.