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NEWS | Feb. 3, 2010

Air Force participating in recruitment program for students with disabilities

Air Force organizations have the opportunity to begin hiring students March 17 for temporary, funded positions as part of the 2010 Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities.

The Air Force is participating this summer in the annual program sponsored by the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy and Department of Defense.

"The Workforce Recruitment Program serves as a resource for employers nationwide to hire qualified temporary and permanent employees from a variety of fields," said Michelle Siples, the Air Force Disability Program manager here.

She added that the program is at no cost to an organization's operation and maintenance budget, and students who work in the temporary positions during the summer have their salaries paid by DoD. Funding for the program runs May 15 through Sept. 30.

The annual WRP call will be sent out to the workforce at the end of January. Ms. Siples said recruiters from participating agencies interview and screen students with disabilities at colleges and universities nationwide for the competitive program.

Approximately 1,800 students are interviewed between the end of January and end of February of each year. These interviews along with recruiters' comments are entered into the WRP database at that is available to human resource specialists and other hiring officials in federal agencies.

Eligibility for the WRP includes students who have substantial disabilities; are a U.S. citizen; and are enrolled full time in an accredited institution of higher learning or have graduated from an accredited school within the past year.

The program offers flexibility for both summer internships that guarantee students 14 weeks of employment and permanent positions for organizations that choose to convert students at the conclusion of the summer program. Ms. Siples said participation in this flexible program allows the Air Force to sustain a world-class and diverse civilian workforce that achieves mission requirements and is technically and occupationally competent.

"The Workforce Recruitment Program isn't just a summer program," Ms. Siples emphasized. "We highly encourage supervisors and managers to use the student database as a resource to check whenever openings occur in their organizations."

Organizations interested in participating in the program should contact the civilian personnel office at 671-4118.