NAVSEA Earns EEO Awards

Friday, March 07, 2008
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) leadership, field activities and employees won five of six of the Navy’s 2008 Nathaniel Stinson Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Awards.

NAVSEA winners included: Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division in the Large Component category; Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport Division in the mid-size component category; NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Paul E. Sullivan in the Leadership category; NUWC Newport Division employees Jose Feliu and Hector Lopez for “Hispanic Employment Achievement”; and NSWC Carderock Division employee Rocco Arizzi for “Outstanding Employee with a Disability.”

"NAVSEA's policy is to aggressively seek out diversity of background as we do our business. This is a business imperative," said Vice Adm. Paul Sullivan. "We need high-end knowledge workers in every facet of our business, from waterfront to laboratory to headquarters. NAVSEA hires and promotes America's best and brightest professionals, whatever their background, to create superior innovation and motivation in our organization."

NSWC Carderock Division, the large component winner, was recognized for its outstanding Diversity Workforce and EEO Program initiatives, including a combined annual diversity summit, Equal Opportunity and Organizational Effectiveness Climate Survey, new hire Bridge Program and multicultural observance programs. Through outreach programs such as the Young Scientist and Engineer Day at West Bethesda, the Greater Philadelphia Sea Perch Challenge, and Adopt-a-School, Carderock Division provides technical hands-on activities to encourage the next generation of naval architects, scientists and marine engineers.

NUWC Newport Division, the mid-size component winner, is a Navy-wide leader in the area of EEO. The men and women at Newport Division are exceeding expectations with the implementation of innovative programs such as educational partnerships, focused recruitment efforts, Diversity Summits and acknowledgement of employee successes at all levels of the organization.

Vice Adm. Sullivan, who earned the Stinson award for leadership, recently named “Build and value a culture of Diversity” and “Strive to attract, recruit, develop and retain a high-performing competency-based and mission-focused workforce” as two of his top strategic goals. During his tenure as commander of NAVSEA, Sullivan has infused the values of fairness and equality of opportunity throughout the entire organization. He has led NAVSEA to explore innovative and effective ways to create new opportunities in diverse communities and has extended NAVSEA’s contracting potential to reach a more diverse segment of the American business sector. Sullivan has also directed that mentoring become a part of the NAVSEA culture, and he has been tireless in identifying barriers to hiring of persons with disabilities.

NUWC Newport engineers Jose Feliu and Hector Lopez were recognized for Hispanic Employment Achievement. Both Feliu and Lopez possess an awareness of and sensitivity to the challenges facing employees and students with diverse backgrounds and cultures and have been instrumental in the recruitment and retention of Hispanic employees throughout their tenure at the command. They have worked as a team and in separate roles to improve opportunities for recruitment, hiring and retention of highly qualified Hispanic engineering students.

NSWC Carderock Division electrical engineer Rocco Arizzi was recognized as “Outstanding Employee with a Disability” by both the Navy and the Department of Defense. Arizzi, who has spinal muscular atrophy, maintains a full work schedule and also actively assists Carderock's public works department with accessibility issues throughout the Division. He is an integral part of a team focused on underwater electromagnetic (EM) signatures, mathematical modeling and countermeasures technology, and participates in conferences and full-scale sea trials at magnetic silencing facilities around the country. In addition to his demanding schedule at Carderock, Arizzi also volunteers his time to speak with children with disabilities and their parents about fostering independence, and serves as a mentor for children with disabilities.

The Nathaniel Stinson Program Achievement and Leadership Awards program heightens awareness of the Navy’s Equal Employment and Equal Opportunity efforts and reflects the Navy’s belief that recognizing and supporting diversity is instrumental to a productive workforce and good government. Award recipients will be honored during the Department of the Navy Human Resources/EEO 2008 Conference March 31 in Atlanta, Ga.

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