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Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative


The Asian/Pacific Islander 2012 Heritage Month theme is "Striving for Excellence in Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion."

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Census Facts for Features: 2012 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

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Welcome to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Initiative website, brought to you by the Department of Commerce (DOC).  The AAPI Initiative is part of the Department’s efforts to address and assist in reversing the underutilization of AAPIs at DOC and better serve the nation's AAPI community.

The AAPI Initiative seeks to recruit talented candidates for employment with DOC; retain, promote, and develop current employees; and create a pipeline for addressing current and future workforce needs.

The AAPI Initiative is tied to DOC’s Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity.  Through the AAPI Initiative, DOC is seeking to build relationships with AAPI communities and engage them in DOC’s mission of ensuring and enabling this Nation’s economic growth and development.  The AAPI Initiative calls for strengthening DOC’s outreach activities in a comprehensive effort to promote partnership opportunities with the AAPI community in three critical areas: employment, education, and business opportunities.

About the AAPI Initiative

All Federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce, must take a proactive stance in addressing AAPI underutilization in the Federal Government.

The estimated AAPI population of the United States as of June, 2008 was 15.5 million, over 5 percent of the nation’s total population.  The Census Bureau reports that by the year 2050, or sooner, 33.4 million U.S. residents will identify themselves as Asian. They would comprise 8 percent of the total population by that year.  This significant increase in the AAPI population has given rise to a large influx of AAPIs into America’s workforce. The DOC must be prepared to effectively manage the recruitment, selection, hiring, retention, and development of AAPIs in its workforce. According to OPM’s Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program Report to Congress for FY 2008, AAPIs are 5.4% of the total Federal workforce compared with 4.3% of the civilian labor force (CLF).  OPM’s demographics for the Senior Executive Service (SES) reflect that as of September 30, 2007, AAPIs only held 2.3% of SES positions.  AAPIs represent 5.0% of the Department’s permanent workforce as of September 30, 2009.


Address the underutilization of AAPIs at all levels of the DOC.


  • Ensure that AAPIs are proactively recruited in order to fill vacant positions at all levels of the DOC.
  • Create a workplace environment where AAPI employees are valued.

 Strategic Focus:  Education

  • Ensure that prospective AAPI applicants are aware of DOC as an employer of choice and of the opportunities for AAPIs at DOC.
  • Ensure that AAPI employees are fully developed and prepared to assume positions of greater responsibility.
  • Ensure that the DOC is aware of the culture, concerns, and issues of its AAPI employees and the AAPI community it serves.

Strategic focus:  Partnerships

  • Establish cooperative relationships with both internal and external organizations in order to respond to the mission and goals of the DOC.
  • Ensure that AAPI goals and objectives are fully integrated in DOC strategic planning. 

Strategic focus: Communication

  • Communicate AAPI initiatives throughout the Department and to external organizations.
  • Create the image of the DOC as the premier employer of choice for all demographic groups.

Core Functions
Outreach and Recruitment

  • Identify opportunities
  • Identify and recommend outreach activities
  • Monitor and evaluate DOC AAPI outreach and recruitment activities


  • Analysis and Research
    • Conduct workforce demographic analysis
    • Monitor exit and mobility trends
    • Conduct research and studies
  • Workplace Issues
    • Language
    • Benefits
    • Workplace environment
    • Benchmarking


  • Identification of high potential employees.
  • Assist employees with career planning and development actions.
  • Help identify internal and external learning opportunities and institutions.

For more information on the DOC AAPI Outreach Initiatives, contact Milton Belardo, Senior Policy Advisor 202.482.0109




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Page last updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2014