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Federal Workforce

A blue transparent background on top of the American flag imagery. At the top it says #AmericanHeroesWeek and underneath U.S. Office of Personnel Management Celebrates American Heroes

This week was American Heroes week, giving us time to reflect on the true heroes of our nation. We are a country that is truly blessed to have these individuals step forward as part of their daily routines to keep us safe and preserve our way of life. These heroes come in many forms, ranging from law enforcement officers and members of the military, to public safety officers. Behind the uniform, is a person whose valor and courage stand immeasurable, and will never diminish in value, no matter how much time passes.

America was founded based on the values of heroes. The beginning of this country was carried on the backs of those who had everything to lose, and risked it all, to not only secure their freedom, but also the freedom of future generations. Characteristics of heroism have continued to reveal themselves throughout our history, carrying on into the present.

As I look out my office window, I see a scene of Washington, D.C. and my heart fills with pride. I am proud that here at OPM, it is of great importance to protect those who protect us. I am inspired daily by the men and women of this agency who have served in our nation’s military, who protect the walls of the very building we work in, and those who work day in and day out to make sure our heroes will have a place to create a life after they’ve risked it all to protect our freedoms.  As President Donald J. Trump said earlier this week, “[W]e are celebrating American heroes.  And nothing fills our hearts with more pride than to be with those who risked everything to protect our citizens and preserve our way of life.”

At OPM, we are committed to helping transitioning military service members continue their service through Federal careers.  As part of the Federal Veterans Employment Initiative, OPM, in its role as Vice Chair of the Interagency Council on Veterans Employment, created the one-stop Federal employment information resource for veterans, Feds Hire Vets.   On this site, transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members have access to key information to ease the transition to Federal employment.  The Federal Veterans Employment Initiative is a strategic initiative, but has a very straightforward approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. It also underscores the importance of aligning the talents of these individuals with key civil service positions so the Government is better positioned to meet mission objectives and citizens are better served.   Today veterans make up approximately 31 percent of the Federal family.

Helping those who have done so much for the United States of America is the best way to show you care. OPM cares, I care, and the Federal government cares.

Thank you to our American Heroes, we wouldn’t be where we are today without you. 


The background is a close up of two windows of OPM's headquarters in Washington D.C. reflected in the window is American and OPM flags waving in the wind. Beside the building is blue sky and in black text:

Every day, the 2.1 million women and men of the Federal Workforce tackle some of our country’s most pressing issues. Whether caring for our veterans, supporting our troops, fighting forest fires, or planning a mission to Mars, Federal employees are focused on making life better for the American people.

In a 2014 address, President Obama said: “To rise to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we need a Federal Workforce with the necessary skills, experience, and tools to meet its diverse mission now and in the future.”  At the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), we work to fulfill this vision. Our mission is to help agencies recruit, retain, and honor a world-class Federal workforce to serve the American people.

Today, OPM has joined our sister agencies in sketching out for the American people a summary of the efforts we have made during this administration to fulfill the President’s vision.

Over the past eight years, our overarching focus has been to modernize the way OPM supports agencies, current and former Federal employees, and their families. By embracing new ways to use data to make decisions, investing in new tools and technologies, and streamlining our processes, we have helped foster a workforce capable of tackling 21st century challenges. In particular, we have focused on:

  • Making the Federal Government a model employer by adopting workplace policies that reflect the modern American economy;

     

  • Strengthening the personnel system to improve Federal agencies’ capacity to recruit, hire, develop, engage, and retain workforces ready to meet 21st century challenges;

     

  • Building a roadmap to better protecting the integrity of the Federal workforce by modernizing the way the government performs background investigations;

     

  • Improving our operations by embracing new tools and technology and enhancing our focus on customer service and cyber security.

The memorandum goes into detail about our agency-wide efforts. I want to highlight just some of the work we’ve done. You can see a fuller description of these efforts and what we see as the best way to continue this journey in OPM’s full memorandum.

In striving to make the Federal government a model employer, OPM has expanded opportunities for people from all elements of society. We’ve made progress in closing the gender pay gap, increased workplace flexibilities to help employees balance their work life and home life. We’ve also promoted diversity and inclusion in the Federal workforce.

Strengthening the personnel system needs to reinforce and build on the merit system principles that represent the bedrock values that have long stood as the foundation of this nation’s civil service system.

Through our Pathways programs we’ve created clearer paths to Federal careers for students and recent graduates and enabled the government to compete more effectively with the private sector for this talent. We’ve brought experts from the private sector into government through innovative fellowship programs. And we established a hiring excellence campaign to help human resources specialists and managers hire the critical talent they need.

The events of recent years have underscored the need to guard against threats to the Federal Government’s personnel, property, and information systems. OPM plays a central role in protecting against threats as we conduct 95 percent of the Federal Government’s background investigations that help agencies make employment, security clearance, and credentialing decisions. By establishing the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) and continuing to modernize the background investigations process, OPM has come a long way in helping the Federal Government build and maintain a trusted workforce.

At OPM customer service is at the heart of everything we do. OPM has embraced new tools and technologies to help deliver better customer service and better secure the information we house. We’ve made significant progress in modernizing and securing information technology systems. We continue to provide high quality health benefits for the 9.2 million Federal employees, retirees and their families who are enrolled in the Federal Employment health Benefit program.

These are some of the highlights of the work OPM has done during this administration to fulfill our mission to recruit, hire, develop, retain and honor the men and women who work every day to deliver excellent service to the American people.

There is much more work to be done. I am confident that the dedicated men and women of OPM will continue in their efforts to build an even greater workforce now, and in the future.

 


Today I am in San Antonio talking to members of our nation’s Armed Forces and veterans about opportunities for them to continue to serve this great nation by applying for jobs in the civilian workforce.

Photo of Acting Director Cobert having a conversation with an Armed Forces member.

As part of the "State of the Union: Cabinet in Your Community" tour, OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert is visiting with veterans and community leaders in San Antonio, TX today.

I want to share an op-ed that appears in today’s San Antonio Express-News and expresses the Administration’s commitment to and support for our veterans.

“Each year, about 25,000 military service members take off their uniforms and settle in the San Antonio/Fort Hood area to make the transition to civilian life. It is up to each of us to honor the men and women who have so valiantly served this great nation by helping make that transition as successful as possible.

As Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, I’m in San Antonio this week to showcase the opportunities for veterans in Federal workforce and to make sure veterans know how to access the resources available to them. I’m meeting with veterans, with organizations that support veterans, and with community and business leaders to talk about the work OPM does every day to help agencies across government live up to the President’s 2009 Executive Order entitled “Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government.”

And, as the daughter of a World War II and Korean War Air Force lieutenant, this effort also is personal for me. I know how much my dad’s experience in the service opened up a whole new world to a kid from Brooklyn and how much his service helped shape his future success.

In his 2015 Veterans Day Proclamation, President Obama called on all of us to dedicate ourselves to honoring those who stepped up to protect us. At OPM, we are taking this mission very seriously.

The President’s Executive Order clearly laid out three objectives: That we honor our obligations to our nation’s veterans; that we use the talents of veterans to help the Federal Government meet today’s dynamic challenges; and that we create a model veterans employment program.

The Executive Order also established the Veterans Employment Initiative and created the President’s Council on Veterans Employment. I’m honored to be the vice chair of that council, which is co-chaired by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

We have accomplished a lot. In fiscal year 2009, the year the President signed his Executive Order, veterans represented 25.8 percent of Federal employees. In fiscal year 2015, veterans accounted for 31 percent of the total Federal workforce nationwide and 58 percent of Federal employees in San Antonio.

In order to build on our success, in 2016 the Council will focus on women veterans and how to help agencies retain their valuable veterans.

We want to broaden opportunities for veterans across the Federal Government. As part of the Veterans Employment Initiative, OPM created FedsHireVets.gov, a one-stop shopping website for veterans to get employment information. Veterans Employment Program Offices are in place in 24 agencies and the website provides information about how veterans can connect with these offices to learn about career opportunities and how to navigate the Federal employment process.

Veterans bring distinctive training, skills, leadership, and experiences that we need at every agency in the Federal government. An example is the increasing need we have for people trained in information technology and other technical areas.

OPM’s Veterans Services team is here with me this week and will be hosting a workshop to train military members and veterans on techniques for writing a Federal résumé and using USAJOBS.gov, the Federal Government’s main online portal for those seeking Federal employment.

I will continue working with veterans all across this great nation as OPM helps agencies recruit, hire, and retain the military members who choose to continue to serve this great nation following their military service.

Most of all, I want to thank the women and men who made the decision to serve, and those who want to continue to dedicate their efforts to serving their fellow Americans by joining the two-million strong Federal workforce.”


Posted 1:00 PM by

As we gather with loved ones to celebrate the season, I want to wish our extended Federal family – employees, retirees, their families, and our customers a happy holiday.

Every day, Federal workers across this great country serve the American people in so many ways. They guard our borders, respond to natural disasters, protect our civil rights, and deliver benefits to citizens of all ages- from children to retirees. They help businesses grow and expand into new markets, push the very boundaries of science and space, and protect our natural wonders here on Earth.

Thank you to all the Federal workers for all that you do, and to my OPM colleagues who help agencies recruit, train, retain, and honor the employees who make it possible for the government to deliver on its mission.

While many of us will be fortunate enough to gather with friends and family in the coming weeks, I hope we all take a moment to honor and thank those who will spend this holiday season away from their loved ones. Our military as well as their civilian colleagues from across the federal government will be working to ensure national security around the globe. Civilian employees will be serving this nation in so many ways – from ensuring the safety of our airports and skies to tending to our wounded warriors to patrolling our National Parks.

As 2015 comes to a close, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous 2016.

Photo of Acting Director Cobert in front of a Christmas tree, candle and poinsettias.


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