ACES enrollee Ted Evans provides technical assistance to the Pennsylvania NRCS State Office. Ted is a Pennsylvania native and over the years has served his country and community. Ted retired from the Army-Guard Reserve after 39 years of service and retired from the United States Civil Service with 20 years of service. He gave selflessly of his time and talent while working for PA NRCS in a part-time capacity from March 2004 to March 2011. After retiring in March 2011, Ted did not slow down; he remained an enthusiastic part of the NRCS team as an Earth Team Volunteer. He enrolled in the ACES Program in September 2012.
During the last 6-9 months of his part-time career with NRCS and during his time as an Earth Team Volunteer, Ted took on a hugely important task. The Pennsylvania NRCS website holds well over 1800 documents. The majority of these documents and attached files needed updating in order to meet Section 508 compliance and accessibility standards. Section 508 requires that federal departments and agencies developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic and information technology ensure that federal employees and members of the public with disabilities have access to and use of information and data comparable to that of federal employees and members of the public without disabilities. Compliance with Section 508 contributes directly to the effective utilization of USDA’s workforce and directly to the accomplishment of USDA’s mission and specifically supports USDA’s fifth strategic goal – to operate an efficient, effective, and discrimination-free organization. Updating these documents required time, patience and specialized skills. Ted Evans took on this task and ensured that over 800 documents and attached files were made compliant in time for the June 2011 Civil Rights Review. Because of Ted’s hard work, the Pennsylvania NRCS website changes were completed on time and the website passed the National Civil Rights Review.
As an ACES enrollee, Ted continues to make the documents that go on the Pennsylvania NRCS website 508 compliant. He has attended specialized training to aid in this task. The NRCS public website will soon migrate to a new web platform; Ted is working with the webmasters to prepare for the migration process.
Tim Kinney, Ted’s monitor, says that Ted has shown great innovation, reliability, and adaptability in handling this responsibility. When issues arise, Ted will go the extra mile to solve the problem. He adapts to the changing requirements of any task he endeavors and is always willing to lend a hand at anything that is given to him. Tim says the Pennsylvania NRCS State Office is fortunate to have Ted as part of the staff.
Ted’s main hobby is wood-working; a project that he and his wife, Jean work together on. He builds the projects and she paints them. They have made doll houses, firehouses, a courthouse and a jail house for their grandchildren. They have also made assorted furniture for their home and for friends and neighbors.
When asked for his thoughts on the ACES program, Ted tells us that during the time he was employed by USDA/NRCS, there were ACES enrollees in the field offices who enjoyed their participation in the program. After a year of retirement, Ted applied for and accepted an ACES position himself. He says “I am again working with those dedicated employees I had previously worked with. Needless to say, I am very happy to be a part of the ACES program and to be able to assist with the great programs of the USDA in general and this office of NRCS in particular.”