MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – The Equal Employment Opportunity Office hosted their 6th annual Protégé Day that allowed individuals with qualified disabilities to job shadow various work sections around Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, May 30, 2018.
The seven Protégés, selected from the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, shadowed work sections that included telecomunications and information services directorate, administration and facilities, in hopes of filling a position.
“It is a good opportunity for [the participants] to see the base, to meet some of the managers, some of the other federal employees and get a feel for the work environment here,” said Gina Smith, a rehabilitation counselor from the NCDVRS office in Morehead City, N.C. “It’s a chance for them to present their skills and their personalities.”
The Protégés were paired with a specific section based on resumes they provided.
“It allows them to show management, or potential selecting officials, that they are able to do the job and that individuals with disabilities are good in the work place,” said Michael Arkin, the deputy EEO officer on the air station.
Protégé Day is not the only opportunity people with qualified disabilities have to get hired on base. Counselors with local vocational rehabilitation centers can forward applicants’ resumes to Arkin at any time and be considered for employment.
“What it allows the individual to do is get placed into a position that commencerates with what their skill set is,” said Arkin. “Sometimes individuals with disabilities have a hard time gaining employment in the civilian sector. More often, they’re the best employees you can ask for because they know the challenges of gaining employment and really value their jobs.”
Approximately nine individuals have been hired on the air station as a result of previous Protégé Day participation.
“For the last five years, the support of the different departments and directorates has been phenomenal for the program,” Arkin said.