Special Emphasis Programs

Special Emphasis Programs (SEP) are an integral part of the Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Program. Special Emphasis Programs refer to employment related programs with special attention on groups that are conspicuously absent or underrepresented in a specific occupational category or grade level in the agency's work force. These programs serve as a resource for managers.  They advocate necessary change to overcome barriers that restrict equal employment opportunity for women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.  Three Special Emphasis Program areas required by regulation are  - The Federal Women's Program (FWP), The Hispanic Employment Program (HEP), and the Program for People with Disabilities. 

Veterans Emphasis Program

This program is designed to assure all veterans, particularly Vietnam Era and disabled veterans, have the full measure of equal program participation and 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 authority for 30 percent or more disabled veterans) and the Veterans Readjustment Appointment (EO I 1 521); Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 USC 2104).

Special Emphasis Programs goals:
  • Improve employment and advancement opportunities for minorities, women and people with disabilities in the federal service;
  • Identify systemic causes of discrimination against minorities, women and people with disabilities;
  • Seek ways to help minorities, women and people with disabilities to advance by using their skills more fully;
  • Monitor agency progress in eliminating discrimination and adverse impact on minorities, women and people with disabilities in employment and agency programs;
  • Educate Federal employees and managers about the extent of various forms of discrimination within the federal service.
If you have any questions about the BLM-Alaska’s special emphasis programs, please contact McKenzie Mercado (AK915), 907-271-5507. 

Special Observances 

Special observances were designed to provide cultural awareness to everyone. Commemorative activities conducted for these observances should be educational, and dispel myths and stereotypes. Nationally recognized observances include:
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday; (3 rd Monday in January)
  • African American Heritage (February)
  • Women's History (March)
  • Asian Pacific Americans (May)
  • Women's Equality Day (August 26)
  • Hispanic Americans (Sep 15-Oct 15)
  • People with Disabilities (October)
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native Heritage (November)

SEP Managers Objectives:

  • assist the State Director and EEO office, in affirmative employment goals through recruitment and other activities designed to improve the representation of minorities, women, and people with disabilities;
  • assist in the identification of discriminatory practices and barriers to the employment and advancement of employees and applicants for employment; recommend ways to change these practices and remove the barriers;
  • develop and conduct special observance activities to educate the workforce, dispel myths and stereotypes relative to minorities, women, and people with disabilities.