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News | Sept. 10, 2021

Defense Department Workforce Recruitment Program recognizes an outstanding DLA Aviation employee

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Andrea Perry, from Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, received the 2020-2021 Judith C. Gilliom Outstanding Workforce Recruitment Program Participant Award at the Defense Department’s 2020-2021 WRP Awards Ceremony July 29. 

The Defense Human Resources Activity Diversity Management Operations Center hosted the pre-recorded virtual ceremony from Alexandria, Virginia to recognize organizations and individuals who participate in/support WRP, an annual recruitment program that places prescreened college students and recent graduates with disabilities in 14-week internships at federal agencies.

Perry, who did her internship with DLA Aviation from July 8 to September 30, 2019, is now a permanent aviation employee working as a EEO specialist with Deborah Winston, DLA Aviation’s equal employment manager.

Perry applied for the WRP as a recent graduate from George Mason University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and said she wanted to expand and explore federal government employment opportunities.

Since the DOD program’s inception in 1995, 1,169 participants have been temporarily hired under WRP, but Perry was part of a group of 168 participants who were hired permanently after completing their initial internship. 

“I was introduced to Andrea Perry when she arrived in the EEO office as a participant in the Workplace Recruitment Program,” said Winston. “She presented as an astute employee who immediately excelled in taskings requiring attention to detail and those involving initiative.”

Perry’s internship consisted of rotations within the EEO office, deskside training and mentoring in different areas to include helping to facilitate EEO training, observing interview panels for EEO compliance, reviewing reasonable accommodation files, performing statistical data analysis, researching EEOC laws/regulations/guidance and providing customer service to employees on EEO and alternative dispute resolution processes.

“She [Perry} is not the type of person to resign herself to any imposed barriers but showed a willingness to probe and conduct necessary research to accomplish any undertaking with a ‘can do attitude,’” said Winston. 

Perry is currently in graduate school pursuing a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in assistive technology.

“This degree will allow me to incorporate my personal experiences and the information I learn to become a more valuable and effective assistive technology professional in the EEO department when working on disability cases, Special Emphasis Programs, Management Directive-715 Reports and reasonable accommodation requests,” she said.

Perry indicated that among other skills she is learning, she wants to increase her knowledge of assistive technology devices for individuals with physical, complex motor, sensory, and cognitive needs to help her when she is working on disability cases, to provide expertise on AT options when individuals request RA, and to provide AT policies that adheres to the federal government and Management Directive-715 reports.

“By using these skills, I am providing efficient and unparallel support to our customers and warfighters,” she said. “Most importantly, I want a diverse and inclusive environment for all.”

“Andrea has demonstrated an aptitude for the EEO profession, and her future looks bright,” said Winston. “She is most assuredly a rising star.”

Employees can view video of the ceremony on DVIDS