Skip Navigation

Special Emphasis Programs

The term "Special Emphasis Programs (SEP)" refers to those programs which focus special attention on certain specific groups as a result of a particular law, regulation, and/or Executive Order. Special Emphasis Programs have been initiated to address the employment-related concerns of groups not specifically included in other programs.

What are SEP - SEPs were established to address the unique concerns of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in achieving equal opportunity in all employment and program delivery activities. However, these programs serve the interests of all NRCS employees by addressing issues critical to increasing the productivity of a diverse work force.

Special Emphasis Programs include the following:

Federal Women's Program

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 problems of women as they relate to Federal personnel policies and practices.

Contact: Karri Honaker, Federal Women's Program Manager, 912-459-2350, ext 100

Hispanic Emphasis Program

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

Contact: Paul Long, Hispanic Emphasis Program Manager, 229-336-0171

Disability/Veterans Special Emphasis Program

Disability: Organized action plans and procedures which promote the hiring, placement, and advancement of employees with disabilities. The Selective Placement Program has its modem 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 instruction (501) on affirmative action plans for the handicapped. Learn more

Veterans: This program is directed at assuring that all veterans, have the full measure of employment in the Federal Service. The legal basis for the program include the Veterans preference Act of 1944(codified as 5 USC 2108); 5 USC 3114 (non-competitive appointing for 30 percent of more disabled veterans) and the Veterans Readjustment Appointment (EO 11521); Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 IJSC2104). Learn more

Contact: Wanda Wetlesen-Shepherd, Disability/Veterans Special Emphasis Program Manager, 706-335-7145 ext. 104

American Indian/Alaskan Native Emphasis Program

The purpose of this program is to focus on issues such as employment, promotion, training and career enhancement affecting American Indian employees and applicants in NRCS. 

Contact: Ron Morton, American Indian/Alaskan Native Emphasis Program Manager, 706-546-2312

Asian American/Pacific Islander Emphasis Program

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

Contact: Jewel Ghavimi, Asian American/Pacific Islander Emphasis Program Manager, 706-283-3021

Black Emphasis Program

This directive provides guidelines to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)organizational units on the development and implementation of the Black Emphasis Program (BEP).The purpose of this program is to provide focus, on issues such as employment, promotion, training, and career enhancement affecting Black employees and applicants in NRCS. 

To visit additional history and resources, please click this link.

Contact: Jerome Brown, Black Emphasis Program Manager, 478-237-8037

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Special Emphasis Program Manager

This directive provides guidelines to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) organizational units on the development and implementation of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Special Emphasis Program. The purpose of this program is to provide focus, on issues such as employment, promotion, training, and career enhancement affecting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender employees and applicants in NRCS. 

Contact: Michael Watson, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Special Emphasis Program Manager 770-227-1026, ext 101