On May 16, Gallaudet University announced it has formed a collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase opportunities for Gallaudet student internships and full time employment at the EPA.

Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz and the EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Administration and Resources Management Craig Hooks celebrated the new collaboration between the two organizations by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at a ceremony on the Gallaudet campus. The event was attended by officials and staff from the EPA as well as members of the Gallaudet University community.

“According to estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, out of 3.9 million working age deaf or hard of hearing adults who are able to work, less than 2 million were working,” said Hurwitz.

“While we see more deaf people serving in leadership roles and in a wide range of professions, there is still a lot of work to do. I thank the leaders at the EPA who are making the hiring of deaf and hard of hearing people a priority.”

Hooks cited President Barack Obama’s White House Executive Order 13548, which directs federal agencies to hire more people with disabilities, as one of the reasons behind this collaboration with Gallaudet. “The MOU goes a long way toward strengthening our commitment to hiring Gallaudet students and graduates,” said Hooks.

To help achieve this goal, the MOU outlines several proposed initiatives to promote outreach efforts, including:

  • Provide timely and credible information on opportunities, appropriate orientation and training on federal employment processes, public service benefits and professional development.
  • Promote direct interaction between the EPA and Gallaudet University graduate and undergraduate students who apply for positions through USAJOBS vacancy announcements with special emphasis on those positions identified as the EPA’s Mission Critical Occupations.
  • Initiate a pilot recruiting effort in conjunction with Gallaudet University’s youth programs wherein the EPA identifies points of contacts who can facilitate the application process and provide appropriate feedback to candidates.
  • Post internship and job vacancies at the EPA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, all 10 regions and labs to Gallaudet students.
  • Participate at Gallaudet University’s Career Internship and Job Fairs held on campus throughout the year, and initiate regular outreach campus visits to promote the EPA as an equal opportunity employer of choice.
  • Provide short-term developmental internships in the federal sector for qualified Gallaudet students.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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