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federal employment

Four years ago, President Obama signed an Executive Order stressing the importance of hiring people with disabilities into the Federal government. He set a goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities. I am proud to say that we are more than halfway toward reaching that milestone.

OPM’s latest report on the employment of people with disabilities shows that the Federal government has hired people with disabilities at a higher rate than at any time in the past 33 years. In fiscal year 2013, 18 percent of new Federal hires were people with disabilities, a 1.9 percent increase over fiscal 2012. In the first three years of enacting the E.O., we have hired a total of 57,491 permanent employees with disabilities. Because of the hard work and dedication of Federal employees and the disability community, we have made outstanding progress toward meeting the President’s goal.

One of the things I love best about being Director of OPM is that I get to meet some of the dedicated and amazingly talented people who are devoting their lives to public service.

Let me tell you about Cynthia Hamilton, who works here at OPM. Cynthia came to us as an intern during her senior year at Gallaudet University, where she was finishing her degree in business management. When she graduated, Cynthia was able to move right into a full-time job as a human resources specialist. But she wasn’t sure whether the Federal government would accommodate her needs. Not only is Cynthia doing a great job, some of her colleagues at OPM have taken American Sign Language classes. She now wants to become a manager and let others who are deaf and hard of hearing know what’s possible in Federal service.  And she wants to see more people with disabilities get hired. So do I.

We need and we will hire more people like Cynthia, and we know we still have so much work to do. Our commitment to hiring, developing, and retaining more people with disabilities is not just about the numbers. It’s about making sure that we have a rich diversity of thought, of expertise, of experience, and of perspective throughout the government. 

As OPM Director, I am committed to making sure that the Federal government is a model employer. And that means our workforce must reflect the rich mosaic of the American people we serve.

I’m proud of the progress we have made. Stay tuned. There is more to come.

 


One request I get each time I talk with students, teachers, Federal employees and community leaders is: Please make USAJOBS easier to use.

I’ve heard you. OPM wants to make USAJOBS the best possible tool for people searching for a job in the Federal government. And to do that we need your help.

I’m happy to announce that our USAJOBS team is beginning a program to ask people who use USAJOBS to help us identify the issues they encounter when they access the site. Our team is looking for volunteers, and we need your feedback.

We would need about two hours of your time. Here are some of the things we may ask you to do as part of our research:

  • Participate in an interview about your experiences with the site (1 hour).
  • Test out the current site or potential changes to the site (30-60 minutes).
  • Participate in a focus group discussion (2 hours).
  • Join a brainstorming session on how to improve the site (2 hours).

Getting help from those who use USAJOBS is crucial to our effort to improve it. We want USAJOBS to be easy to navigate. We want it to be the best it can be for you, the job seeker.

Interested in helping? Email usability@usajobs.gov with your name, state of residence, and preferred email address.


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