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To coordinate efforts and alleviate duplication within the Area, the Pacific West Area Workforce Diversity Committee will serve as a source of guidance, providing advice and recommendations to the Area Director in fulfilling the objectives of equal employment opportunity and affirmative employment* in the Pacific West Area.  This will be achieved by reviewing and analyzing the PWA Affirmative Employment Program Plan with the objective of identifying barriers to employment, promotion and advancement, and developing strategies to overcome the identified barriers.  Additionally, Committee members will serve as their Location's advocate and contact for diversity-related issues and Committee initiatives.


* Affirmative employment is a legal concept that required agencies to do more than ensure nondiscrimination in employment practices, policies, rules and regulations.  It requires managers and supervisors to make good faith efforts in the recruitment, advancement, and retention of qualified members of diverse groups, and to identify and remove barriers to equal employment opportunity.





The vision of the Pacific West Area Workforce Diversity Committee is an environment that promotes a workforce that reflects the diversity of the populations that we serve, and promotes scientific excellence with impact and quality service in support of the ARS mission.





The Committee seeks to promote the development of workforce at all occupations and grade levels that is representative of the diverse populations in which we work and serve and that contributes to the ultimate goal of maintaining or enhancing the excellence and impact of our research programs.  The Committee will recommend and support activities within PWA to:  1) Assess the needs of the PWA and advise the Area Director in the areas related to equal opportunity and affirmative employment; 2) Provide a forum for active discussion of affirmative employment in the workplace and to advise the Area Director of ways to meet equal employment objectives; 3) Identify barriers to and recommend strategies for overcoming the barriers to achieve workplace diversity; 4) Promote the education, recruitment, hiring, and advancement of underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities; and, 5) Help promote awareness of cultural and ethnic diversity among employees.




Membership:  The Committee will consist of eight (8) standing members, consisting of the Associate Area Director and the Area Equal Employment Specialist and the six Area Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPMs).  PWA Special Emphasis Programs include the following:  African-American Program, Asian/Pacific American Program, Federal Women's Program, Hispanic Employment Program, Native American Program, and Disability Employment Program.  General membership will also include rotating members representing locations not represented by a SEPM.  At the discretion of the Committee Chair, some locations may have more than one representative.  Rotating Committee members will serve staggered terms of three (3) years.  Committee members will be appointed by the Area Director and will reflect a cross-section of employee positions in the Area.  The Associate Area Director will Chair the Committee. 


Meetings:  Meetings and/or teleconference calls will be held twice a year, or as needed.


      Amendments:  Amendments or changes to this charter may be proposed by any member.  Amendments should be presented in writing to Committee members in advance of the next scheduled meeting.  The Committee will evaluate the proposal and make recommendations to the Area Director for approval.


      Findings, Advice and Recommendations:  Minutes, advice and recommendations from the Committee will be provided to the Area Director for approval and action.  Approved minutes of Committee meetings will be distributed to members and posted on the Area intranet for the information of all employees.