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Equal Opportunity Specialist

Lorraine Dawson

Photo of Lorraine Dawson

I am originally from Newport News, Virginia, and I joined the U.S. Army after high school, and trained as a Network Data Telecommunications Specialist. I was stationed in Germany most of my military career, which included a duty assignment in Berlin when the "Wall" came down. I had other duty assignments in South Korea; Maryland, Georgia, Texas, and served two years as a Drill Instructor. During my military career, I learned how to be confident, work as a team member as well as lead a team. Throughout my military career, I had been taking classes whenever I could. When I retired in 1997, I had enough credits, combined with my military experience, that I only had to go to school for 18 months to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I started working at various placement agencies as an Administrative Assistant as a way for me to get into corporate jobs. I finally landed a placement job as a contractor with IBM in Charlotte, NC in 2002. While there I supported a Project Management and Sales team as a Project Coordinator for IBM's Business Continuity Recovery Services. I decided to go back to school. I enrolled at Strayer University, North Charlotte campus in September 2004, and completed my MBA in June 2006. I had a friend who was working in the Federal government in Washington, DC, and he sent me the link for a program that was at the Department of Labor, and told me to apply. I applied, and the week after I had completed all my course work at Strayer, I moved to Alexandria, Virginia, and started work with the U.S. Department of Labor in June 2006 where I was accepted into the Department of Labor's MBA Fellows program. As an MBA Fellow, I did various rotational assignments with several agencies within the Department. I had the opportunity to apply business practices, knowledge, and expertise on special projects, conducted fact-finding research, and interpreted regulations. Once I completed the MBA Fellows program, I became a permanent member of the Civil Rights Center as an Equal Opportunity Specialist. I worked in the Office of External Enforcement, performing duties related to external enforcement of the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity statutes, Executive Orders, and regulations applicable to programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance, either from the Department of Labor or, in some circumstances, from other Federal entities. DOL-conducted program and activities related to labor and the workforce, and this includes complaint intake, complaint investigations, and compliance reviews.

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