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Special Emphasis Programs

Description of the Program: The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Special Emphasis Program is to address issues critical to increasing productivity, and to increase our diverse workforce by providing information/programs for people of different races, backgrounds, and heritage to get together for an hour to share information.

Three special emphasis program areas are specifically required by law:

Hispanic Employment Program – Title 5 CFR, Subpart B, 720.204 – was established to implement sixteen actions focusing on the employment of Hispanics in the Federal Government. The significance of the "16 Point Program" was that for the first time the Federal Government acknowledged that Hispanic Americans were underrepresented in the Federal workforce. Subsequently, the U.S. Civil Service Commission (now the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)) had the responsibility for developing and implementing the program. This program provided guidance and information to all Federal agencies. It also directed many initiatives to improve the severe underrepresentation of Hispanics in the Federal workforce.

Federal Women's Program – 5 U.S.C. 7201; 38 U.S.C. 4214; Title 5 CFR, Subpart B, 720.204 – The FHWA Federal Women's Program is an integral part of the agency's internal affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs. Its purpose is to assure that all women regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, or handicap receive:

  • equal treatment in all phases of employment including placement in jobs at levels for which they are qualified,
  • training and development in accordance with their abilities and agency needs,
  • opportunities for career development and upward mobility, and
  • recognition for outstanding service and achievements

People with Disabilities Program – Selective Placement Program for Individuals With Disabilities – Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act; Title 5 U.S.C. Subpart B, Chapter 31, Subchapter I-3102; 5 CFR 213.3102(t) and (u); 5 CFR 315.709 – According to U.S. Office of Personnel Management's People with Disabilities in the Federal Government: An Employment Guide, Federal agency managers and supervisors are responsible for the employment and advancement of people with disabilities which includes training and career development. Therefore, it is essential for FHWA managers and supervisors to provide training and career development for our employees with disabilities enhancing them with the development of job skills and tools needed to perform their jobs more productively. Our goal is to give these individuals training opportunities and help them advance beyond entry-level positions.

In addition, the FHWA Office of Civil Rights identifies and participates with these other Special Emphasis programs:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday (January)
  • African American/Black History Month (February)
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Gay and Lesbian Pride Month (June)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary (July 26)
  • Women's Equality Day – Statement (August 26)
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15)
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October)
  • Disability Mentoring Day (October)
  • National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)

The FHWA joins with the other Operating Modes in the celebration of the above special observances with appropriate programs and awareness activities to enhance cross-cultural awareness. It is an opportunity to recognize the current achievements and historical contributions made by members of specific racial or ethnic groups in our society. Types of activities include performers and guest speakers in the culture or issue, proclamations, handouts, food tasting, and exhibits.