August 30, 2017
Hello Coast Survey,
I am so pleased to have the opportunity to pen the opening to this week’s newsletter and to tell you about some of the exciting things that Coast Survey’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee has been working on.
Creating and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce is a top priority for Coast Survey. Earlier this year, Coast Survey’s D&I Committee put together a great plan to support NOAA’s D&I goals of recruiting a diverse, highly capable workforce, building an inclusive work environment, and ensuring continued progress and commitment.
We’ve already made excellent progress on efforts to increase the diversity of our workforce. We are exploring ways to easily recruit veterans and persons with disabilities via direct hiring strategies. We’ve successfully hosted a number of interns through programs such as Pathways and the Greening Youth Foundation and we are hoping to partner with the Mason LIFE program to provide internship opportunities to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Have you heard about Coast Survey’s Knit & Crochet Lunch Hour? The most recent one was held on August 29. We hope that you all can join us at our next meeting. By hosting fun social activities, we aim to bring different groups of people together and help encourage sharing of experience among colleagues. We would like to be able to host more of these activities, but need ideas and help. Please reach out to a committee member if you would like to host an event.
Finally, mark your calendars for the upcoming Coast Survey D&I Stand Down, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18, 2017, in Room 4527 (Note: more information about AHB & PHB time and location is coming soon). The idea for this day was inspired by the “safety stand downs" that our ships and other field units periodically hold in order to allow the crew to participate in drills and other activities which highlight the importance of safety in the workplace. During the D&I Stand Down, Coast Survey employees will put aside their daily work and spend the day getting to know more about what diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement means. It’s a way for all of us to show our commitment to working together to create an environment where all feel welcome.
Also, be sure to stop by the new collaboration space on the 6th floor (Rm 6416), where we are building a small library of reading materials focusing on diversity and inclusion.
Chair, Coast Survey Diversity and Inclusion Committee