Magazine Names DoD As Employer of Year
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 12, 2004 Readers of Careers and the Disabled magazine have chosen the Defense Department as public-sector employer of the year.
Jim Schneider, the magazine's editor, said DoD received the award "for its commitment to recruiting, hiring and promoting people with disabilities."
Clarence A. Johnson, DoD's principal director for equal opportunity, accepted the award for the department recently during the magazine's 12th annual awards reception in New York City.
With more than 600,000 civilian employees at more than 6,000 locations worldwide, DoD offers a lot of job opportunities in a lot of places, Johnson said at the ceremony. More than 5,870 of those jobs representing 1 percent of DoD's workforce -- are held by people with severe disabilities who are targeted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for emphasis in federal affirmative-action programs, he noted.
"This year, in our annual reader survey, our readers selected the U.S. Department of Defense as one of their top five employers for whom they would most like to work, or whom they believe are progressive in hiring people with disabilities," Schneider said in a message to the DoD equal employment opportunity office.
Careers and the Disabled magazine is designed to help companies and other employers connect with people with disabilities at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level seeking employment. Published quarterly, the magazine contains articles on disabilities and careers. It also has general job postings and a list of companies actively recruiting and seeking to employ people with disabilities and develop a more diversified work force. Each issue features a special Braille section.
Seven DoD components had exhibits at the magazine's career fair: the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of the Army (Fort Monmouth, N.J.), Naval Surface Warfare Center (Dahlgren, Va.), Department of the Air Force (Randolph Air Force Base, Texas), Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
Johnson noted that in December, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld established a DoD-wide goal to increase the number of disabled employees to 2 percent of the department's work force.
The average grade for DoD's employees with targeted disabilities, Johnson said, is 8.1 in the white-collar work force and 6.6 in the blue-collar work force in 15-grade pay scales. Average salaries are $43,247 and $36,893, respectively.
"These employees have worked for the department an average of 19.6 years. Their average age is 47.6 years," Johnson said. "Sixty-four percent are male. Thirty-six percent are female. Twenty-three percent are minorities. Twenty-three percent of these employees are disabled veterans. In that group, 10 percent have disabilities rated 30 percent or more by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"They're employed around the world in the full range of DoD's civilian occupations," he continued, "from pipe fitters and mathematicians to clerks and engineers, from cryptographers and metalworkers to logistics technicians and maintenance personnel."
Johnson said DoD has three programs that help it lead the way in employment of individuals with disabilities:
The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program -- better known as "the CAP" -- is the federal government's centrally funded accommodations program. It provides assistive technology and services -- at no cost to the requesting organization -- for employees with disabilities throughout DoD and in more than 50 federal partner agencies. For details, call (703) 681-8813 or TTY (703) 681-0881. Information also is available on the Tricare Web site.
DoD also co-sponsors with the Labor Department the governmentwide Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities. The program provides summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, for college students with disabilities. Talented college students with disabilities from more than 175 colleges and universities are recruited for the program. They represent all majors, and range from college freshmen to graduate students and law students with many levels of experience.
Each year the Office of the Secretary of Defense funds a minimum of 200 summer jobs through the program at DoD activities nationwide. For details, call (202) 693-7880 or TTY (202) 693-7881, or visit the Labor Department's Web site.
Finally, The Defense Applicant Assistance Office helps people pursue DoD civilian careers by providing a conduit between them and DoD recruiters using Web technology, e-mail and live interaction with DAAO staff advisers. The staff offers help with required documentation and forms, and provides advisory guidance on responding to vacancy announcements. For details, call (888) DOD4USA (363-4872) toll-free, or TTY 703-696-5436. Information also is available at the DAAO Web site.