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DoD Honors Workforce Recruitment Program Participants

July 30, 2014 , DOD News
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Defense Department officials hosted an awards ceremony here July 28 for participants in the Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students and Recent Graduates with Disabilities.

DoD, in collaboration with the Labor Department, manages the program for the federal workforce.

Among several noteworthy individuals nominated from across the federal government, five DoD employees hired from this year’s program were selected to receive the Judith C. Gilliom Award in recognition of their significant contributions to their organizations.

The award recipients are:

-- Jonathan N. Cedeno, Department of the Army, 65th Medical Brigade, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Korea;

-- Ann Kwong, Department of Defense Education Activity, Gifted Education, Advanced Placement, Advancement via Individual Determination;

-- William Lewallen, Department of the Air Force, Air Force Equal Opportunity Policy Office;

-- Peter Thebeau, Defense Contract Management Agency, Aircraft Integrated Maintenance Operations, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas; and

-- Jason Wornoff, Department of Defense Education Activity, Research and Evaluation Branch.

Clarence A. Johnson, director of the Defense Department’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, applauded the merits of the Workforce Recruitment Program and emphasized DoD’s support for the Program. He noted that inclusion of individuals with disabilities is an important part of creating a diverse workforce.

Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, also lauded the WRP as a means to recruit, employ and empower people with disabilities and to allow them to contribute to society and the nation.

The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students and Recent Graduates with Disabilities is a recruitment and referral program that connects hiring managers with highly motivated postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace, officials said. The program has been cited by the Office of Personnel Management as a model strategy for achieving the president’s goals of increasing federal employment of individuals with disabilities.

The awards are presented in honor of the late Judith C. Gilliom, who served as DoD’s first director of disability programs and was a founder of the program.

Gilliom remained a strong advocate for the employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities throughout her career in the federal government, officials said, beginning at the U.S. Civil Service Commission and concluding at DoD. She is represented in the Pentagon’s Defense Career Civilians of Distinction display.