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Recruitment Program Participants Receive Judith C. Gilliom Award

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2016 — On July 22, 2016, the Defense Department hosted an awards ceremony here for participants in the Workforce Recruitment Program for college students and recent graduates with disabilities, according to a DoD news release.

This ceremony, held at the United States Access Board, commemorated a community focused on the employment of individuals with disabilities, the release said. The event featured remarks from Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Peter Levine and Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher P. Lu.

The ceremony honored WRP-participating interns, nominated by their supervisors, for making significant contributions to their assigned work unit and a WRP coordinator and component for their successful implementation of the program.

The WRP 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. Under the purview of the Department of Labor, the Defense Department’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity manages DoD’s participation in the WRP.

“The WRP is more than an internship program,” Levine said. “It is a vital pipeline of talent that supports a diverse, inclusive, and mission-ready workforce.”

The 2016 Judith C. Gilliom Award recipients are:

-- Kerri M. Smith, Air Force;

-- Robert E. Tanner, III, Defense Contract Management Agency; and

-- Emily Lipkin, Department of Health and Human Services.

The WRP coordinator selected for this year’s award is Eric F. Spanbauer, Defense Logistics Agency.

DLA was recognized with the 2016 WRP Component of the Year Award.

The awards were 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 WRP. Gilliom remained a strong advocate for the employment of individuals with disabilities throughout her career in the federal government, beginning at the U.S. Civil Service Commission and concluding at DoD.

Gilliom is represented as an exemplar in the Defense Career Civilians of Distinction display in the Pentagon.

Clarence A. Johnson, the director of DoD’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, described Gilliom’s legacy.

“Through her unwavering advocacy and dedication to equal employment opportunities, she created countless opportunities for individuals with disabilities within the [Defense] Department and across the federal government,” Johnson said.

Distribution channels: Military Industry