The Forest Service continues its commitment to promoting diversity and excelling as a high-performing agency, and the Forest Service Asian Pacific American Employee Association strives to build diversity and inclusion within the agency. There were several events to celebrate the month, including an event at national leadership training and recognition of the efforts of the agency's Civil Rights program to improve diversity.
The Forest Service’s Asian Pacific American Employees Association celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage month at a national leadership training and recruitment program hosted by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. Eleven Forest Service employees attended the week-long event along with staff from USDA and other federal and armed forces agencies. Forest Service attendees also staffed a recruitment and outreach table, since the conference also provided an opportunity to engage with the public to recruit a diverse workforce, promote an inclusive culture, and attract and retain top employees.
During the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Observance May 25 in Washington, D.C., the Forest Service received the fiscal year 2016 Outstanding Achievement award for its achievement in promoting workforce diversity and an inclusive culture. Theodore Gutman, Civil Rights director, accepted the award from the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. Forest Service Region 1 employee Feliciana Schaible won an Outstanding Individual Leadership award, and NEPA planner Chinling Chen, Angeles National Forest, won the Diversity Excellence award.
The Forest Service was recognized for invigorating the Special Emphasis program with initiatives that promote creativity, education, engagement and accountability. Over the past three years, diversity outreach managers have strategically supported events to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities to seek employment, recreation and educational opportunities related to the agency mission critical occupations and supporting career fields.