EPA Creates Diversity Task Force, Will Spend More With DBEs

Two internal EPA emails reveal the strategy.

Source : Flickr

August 26, 2021

Author : Patty Rodriguez

Earlier this month, an internal EPA email was obtained by E&E news. In it, Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe told employees of the agency that a “diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) implementation team” was formed to “handle tasks under an executive order from President Biden.

Despite the many programs EPA and other federal agencies have had in place for years, there are still enduring legacies of employment discrimination, systemic racism, and gender inequality,” McCabe said in the email.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan asked McCabe to handle a “whole-of-EPA approach” to address the issue.

“The order will push us to go beyond what we have in place today to address equity in all aspects of EPA work and life (e.g. recruitment, hiring, professional development and advancement, pay); foster a culture of true mutual respect and inclusion; and identify, address, and prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace,” McCabe said, according to the outlet.

The new unit will be led by Dale Perry from the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, as well as James McDonald from EPA Region 6.

Because of the President’s executive order, the EPA will have to submit an assessment of diversity in its workforce by October 4th. Then in March next year, the EPA will have to submit a strategy on expanding its workforce diversity.

A separate email obtained recently by Bloomberg Law says the agency is looking to spend more contracting dollars with small businesses in underserved neighborhoods. Currently, the EPA spends 2.5 percent of its contracting dollars with businesses located in HUBZones and 1.7 percent with small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, which are shy of the EPA’s goal of three percent.

Photo via Flickr.

Category : Disabled Veteran Businesses Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Historically Underutilized Businesses Veteran Business Diversity Outreach Federal Government

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