disabilities pose no boundaries to WRP participants
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a federal initiative for college students and recent graduates with disabilities, as well as a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through internships or permanent jobs.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management & Equal
Opportunity (ODMEO) manage the program with the support and participation of many other federal agencies and sub-agencies. The WRP was started in the mid-70’s in the Department of the Navy and in 1995, the program expanded to the federal sector. Since then, over 6,000 students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.
Every year, WRP recruiters interview interested students and from these interviews a database is compiled on college students and recent graduates seeking temporary or permanent jobs, explained Eighth Army's Equal Employment Opportunity Director Linda N. Galimore.
Students in the database are categorized by job interest, degree program, geographic location and many other factors.
Galimore added, “The Office of Personnel Management highlighted the WRP as a model strategy in its guidance to federal agencies regarding the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities in response to Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. Using the WRP can assist Eighth Army units in achieving the goals of Executive Order 13548 and improve the use of Schedule A in hiring. The WRP has resulted in good return on investment in providing a pipeline to the civilian workforce.”
This year through the aggressive efforts of Rafael Reyes, Eighth Army's Individuals with Disabilities Program Manager, Eighth Army EEO secured funding for nine WRP students and thus far, a total of nine students accepted tentative job offers for Korea.
This year, students were recruited from universities in Maine, North Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.
Two students will be assigned to Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital /121st Combat Support Hospital, and this year, for the first time we are expanding the placement of WRP students to Area I, thanks to the great support from the 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. Army Garrison Area I commanders. Seven students will be assigned to Camp Red Cloud with duty at the 2nd ID and Area I garrison activities, said Galimore.
“We place students where they’re needed,” said Galimore. “The Army’s goal is to have two-point-zero percent of individuals with targeted disabilities in the workforce all students selected to serve in Korea this year have targeted disabilities and were hired utilizing Schedule “A” hiring authority.”
Applicants for the program must:
- Must have an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability which makes the candidate eligible to use the Schedule A hiring authority AND
- be a U.S. citizen AND
- be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education on a substantially full-time basis (unless the severity of the disability precludes the student from taking a substantially full-time load) to seek a degree OR
- be enrolled in such an institution as a degree-seeking student taking less than a substantially full-time load in the enrollment period immediately prior to graduation OR
- have graduated from such an institution within the past year.
The WRP is run on an annual basis and requires applicants to have a phone interview with a WRP recruiter. The interviews take place from October through mid November of each year. The WRP is coordinated on college campuses by Disability Services or Career Services offices, said Ms. Galimore.
For more information or if you or someone you know is attending college and has a disability contact your Eighth Army EEO office, DSN 724-6430/6603. Additional information can be found on the WRP web: wrp.gov.