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Two major constraints in recruiting for ASPER are
1) the smallness of the office which limits the number
of available new slots, and 2) the lack of entry-level
professional positions, GS 5 - 9. Since the expansion
in 1969, ASPER has recruited only five professionals
and now has a total of twenty-five.
have left the organization in the past year but three
of them retired, and no present employee is due to re
tire in the near future.
In addition, very few people
have left ASPER over the years to work elsewhere.
The office, however, is not limited in its recruit
ment effort by the need for any specific background.
Present employees represent a diversity of backgrounds,
which include law, teaching and economics.
The type of
work done in ASPER requires the ability to write, to be
creative and to work without supervision, but does not
statement, Standard Form 171, and 4) a personal inter
view by at least one staff member.
Summary of Interviews
The Task Force encountered a wide range of reactions
to ASPER'S EEO Action Plan and to the subject of minority
original Action Plan, submitted in February of 1971, and
not much happier with the revised plan of April, 1971.
The revised plan reserves "either one or two positions
for minority persons" out of a total of seven,
not specify whether these reserved positions are profes
sional or nonprofessional. This distinction is important
because five of ASPER's nine secretaries were minorities
as of July 7, 1971, so that reserving a nonprofessional
position for a minority would be unnecessary for EEO pur
Others regarded the new plan as a step in the right
direction and felt that ASPER would begin to hire minor
made to fill a position in the office of Evaluation with
a minority before the end of fiscal year 1971. The am
biguity with regards to filling this professional posi
tion is symptomatic of the entire plan (see Appendix D-1).
"We are prepared to reserve one professional position to be filled by a minority employee before the end of this fiscal year". FY •71 EEO Action Plan for ASPER, p.22.
informed of openings--the plan says that "an effort
will be made to advise" all employees but does not
provide that they will be definitely so advised;
does not point out whether the "one or two" positions
"with greater frequency," but not on a regular
The plan does, however, specify that the two summer
hires, one summer aide and one junior professional, are
to be minorities.
Mos t ASPER employees believe that the present situ
ation was caused by a lack of affirmative action, not
by any conscious discriminatory action.
ble for staffing the new office in 1969 were concerned
with finding the most qualified people possible in the
shortest period of time. They discovered that the easiest
way to accomplish this goal was to recruit from among
their professional acquaintances. Those recruiting were
white, and the result of this approach was that all those
hired were white.
This informal, passive approach to
recruitment has become self-perpetuating, and several
people summarized the recruitment effort as being "a sin
of omission, rather than commission."
The clerical interviews focused on the availability
of upgrading and promotional opportunities.
There is at
present a clerical shortage in ASPER with the ratio being
about one secretary for every three professionals.
of the secretaries felt that this factor combined with the
nature of the work lessened the amount of opportunity
for training during working hours. They were made to
feel obligated to remain in the office in case their