Hispanic Emphasis Program



The Hispanic Employment Program (HEP) Manager implements a national program of work to improve the cultural sensitivity/diversity awareness/and skill development of the members of the workforce; conducts workforce trend analysis and works with leadership to identify and eliminate barriers to positive work environment; works to increase the groups' participation rates in agency programs and employment opportunities; and advocates the resolution of protected groups issues as needed. The HEP Manager also serves as the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and Hispanics Serving Institutions (HIS) Capacity Building Program Manager with Land Grant Colleges and University, and Hispanic advocacy organization partners to implement program and information outreach, employment recruitment, and technical assistance to underserved communities.


Forest Service Civil Rights Goals

  • Develop a Hispanic Media Outreach Strategy and branding tool to assist regions in marketing various types of federal employment;
  • Establish a consortium with educational and other government agencies to fulfill mission-critical occupations such as; forestry technicians, biologist, science, technology, civil engineering and program management to coordinate recruitment efforts;
  • Better utilize intern programs and increase their conversion to permanent  positions
  • Create a Forest Service-wide mentoring program;
  • Include EEO/diversity requirements in all hiring officials’ critical performance elements.

Cultural Transformation means renewing the culture of the Forest Service so that all employees and customers are treated with dignity and respect and are provided the opportunity to succeed.

Haven’t we done this before?  What is different?

  • Think of cultural transformation as a continuous process of self and organizational reflection and adaptation, not as a single event.
    • A learning organization is continually involving employees in an exploration of ways to stay vital and inviting in a rapidly changing environment.
    • Our Cultural Transformation is another opportunity for all of us to engage within our own part of the agency to discover what we might do to continually improve our own place of work.

    Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic (a term defined by the federal government in the mid‘70's) is a term of convenience that ties a diverse group of peoples who are united in language, strong family ties, and religious  beliefs.
Many local communities use the term Latinos. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Hispanics/Latinos are of Spanish origin or descent who designate themselves as Mexicans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Spanish or Latinos (Dominicans, Venezuelans, Chileans, Bolivians, Colombians, Salvadorans, Costa Ricans, Argentineans, Paraguayans, Peruvians, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Ecuadorians, Guatemalans, Uruguayans, and Panamanians.)

Hispanic Heritage Educational Program PowerPoint

Guidlines for Developing a Hispanic Outreach Program PowerPoint

Hispan Herit

Hispanic Employment Program

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

The Forest Service Hispanic Employee Association (FSHEA) is governed by a body known as the National Council. The National Council consists of four officers and representatives from each FSHEA zone. Officers of the FSHEA consist of a Chair, Co-chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The National Council is responsible for establishing FSHEA policy, providing fiscal support, budgeting, and other working guidelines to carry out the activities of the FSHEA.


EEOC Management Directives

EEOC Regulations

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Management Directice 715
NO Fear Act Instructions

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Federal Initiatives

  1. Presidential Letter, November 5, 1970 by President Richard Nixon, formally established “The Sixteen Point Program”. The name of the program highlighted the sixteen major employment issues presented in the original Presidential Directive. On January 23, 1973, the Program was renamed “Spanish-Speaking Program” to emphasize the bilingual skills, and on February 28, 1978, the Program was again renamed to what it is known today as “Hispanic Employment Program.
  2. The HEP is an integral part of the Federal government-wide Equal Employment Opportunity Program under the authority of Executive Order 11478 (1969),
  3. Civil Rights Act of 1964, (Public Law 88-352), as amended
  4. Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1972 (Public Law 92-261)
  5. Executive Order 11246, Sept. 24, 1965
  6. Title V, U.S. Code 7201, 5 C.F.R. Part 720-2, Sept 191979
  7. Executive Order13230, Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
  8. E.O. 13166, Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency
  9. Executive Order 13171, Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government
  10. AR 690-12
  11. Title 29, CFR, Part 1605, Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion
  12. Title 29, CFR, Part 1606, Guidelines on Discrimination Because of National Origin
  13. Executive Order 13171 – Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government, Oct 12, 2000
  • EO 13171 Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government (10/12/00)


Employment Opportunities:

 Search for Jobs | Avue Central
The Projected Forest Service Workforce and Succession Needs: 
Annual Hiring Focus:

  • Recruit to fill 1500 positions FS-wide each year; over 7,000 within the next 5 years
  • Approximately twenty-five percent will be entry-level hires in the GS-5/7/9 range
  • Other hires will include Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) or Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)
  • More on (Schedule B – Hiring Authorities) STEP and SCEP later…

What occupational categories does the Forest Service recruit from under SCEP

  • The Forest Service recruitment efforts for SCEP positions focus on the agency’s mission critical occupations.  Forest Service mission critical occupations include:
    • Forestry
    • Wildlife Biology
    • Soils Science
    • Civil  Engineering
    • General Biological Science (i.e., NEPA Specialists, Recreation Specialists, Fire Ecologists)
    • Information Technology Management
    •  Business (Accountants, Financial Management Specialists, Contract Specialists, Grants & Agreement Specialists)

 Outreach, Education and Careers:

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  • Forest Service Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU ) Internship Program
  • Forest Service leads in the USDA assessment of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program. 
  • Forest Service administers the annual $225,000 HACU Internship program that provides HACU Interns work experience at the 19 Forest Service field offices and the Washington Office.
  • In FY 2010, the Forest Service employed more than 32 HACU Interns across the field units, significantly the highest among all USDA Agencies.
  • HACU Interns range from 21 to 32 students each year. 
  • This is an employment outreach and recruitment, program for students from the Hispanic Serving Institutions.
  • Intent is for interns to be recruited into STEP/SCEP Internship opportunities, and to convert to permanent full-time employees.

What are the differences between STEP & SCEP?



Work experience must be related to academic major

Work experience may be in any occupational field, whether or not related to academic major

May be converted to permanent employment

Not eligible for permanent employment

Eligible for retirement and insurance benefits

Not eligible for retirement and insurance benefits


May be appointed to SCEP positions without further competition


Work experience may be credited toward the 640-hour work requirement for SCEP

The advantages of  SCEP:

  • A planned and progressive educational program that allows you to combine your academic studies with on-the-job experience.
  • Experience you need to obtain a job that is in demand with the Forest Service. You can apply theories to interesting work that will give new meaning to classroom instruction and explore options before choosing a career.
  • A partnership between you, your school, and the Forest Service.  Everybody benefits!
  • Finally, a major benefit of SCEP is that it may lead to a permanent job for you upon graduation.

You  are eligible for STEP/SCEP if you:


Are at least 16 years of age and a student enrolled or accepted for enrollment to obtain a diploma, certificate, degree, etc.

  • Are taking at least half-time course work in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2- or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional school.
  • Are a U.S. citizen.



USDA Signs Official Partnership Agreement with National Hispanic Association of Federal Executives (NAHFE)
On February 18, 2011 Assistant Secretary for Administration (ASA) Pearlie S. Reed and President of National Hispanic Asso-ciation of Federal Executives (NAHFE) Al Gallegos signed an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dedicated to a long lasting partnership and collaboration geared towards en-hancing progress of Hispanic employees into the Senior Execu-tive Service (SES) ranks. As you may know, this initiative is designed to establish commitment with a diverse coalition of national Employees organizations and associations to assist USDA to meet our diversity challenges.

Hispanic Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment (HLAE)
Forest Service Research and Development, Deputy Chief Area, is a partner with the Hispanic
Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment (HLAE):

  • Engaging and dialoguing with a consortium of universities:
  • Discussing Opportunities:
  • The Forest Service Mission
  • Business and Employment
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Research
  • Policy Analysis
  • Graduate Coursework

One consortium of universities includes:

  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
  • Texas A&M University, Kingsville
  • University of Texas, San Antonio
  • University of Texas, Pan American

2012 USDA- Forest Service National Internship Program with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)


Attached is an invitation to participate in the 2011-2012 USDA-HACU National Internship Program.

See deadline for submitting intern requests.

If you are interested in participating, or have any questions, please contact

Forest Service Student Educational Webinar USDA Presentation!

HACU Webinar

HACU Webinar PowerPoint

HACU Webinar Audio

HACU Webinar Transcript

Conferences and Networking


Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

National Hispanic Environmental Council

ASPIRA Association
6th Annual Latino Education Conference

National Assoc of Hispanic Federal Executives Summit V

National Image, Inc

National Council of La Raza

League of United Latin American Citizens

G.I. Forum

Hispanic Leadership Institute Northeast Latino Student Leadership Conference

Hispanic National Bar Association

SER - Jobs for Progress, Inc.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

National Society of Hispanic MBAs

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists

National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives Annual Conference


For more information, contact Pedro Nieto, National Hispanic Employment Program Manager, at (202) 205-0999, pmnieto@fs.fed.us

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