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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 12, 1999
Contact: Ivonne Cuñarro
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Announces Hispanic Employment Initiative Is Making Headway In the Federal Workforce

CORPUS CHRISTI U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Janice R. Lachance today announced that the agencys Hispanic Employment Initiative is making steady progress in improving Hispanic representation in the federal workforce. As a result of OPMs Hispanic Employment Initiative Hispanic representation in the federal workforce has increased by 2,000 Hispanic employees in a little more than a year ago.

Lachance spoke before hundreds of participants at the National Convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) -- the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the nation -- in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Since OPMs 9-point Hispanic Employment Initiative was launched in September of 1997, the representation of Hispanics in the federal government has increased from 99,064 in September of 1997 to 101,124 employees this March.

Moreover, Hispanic representation in the Senior Executive Service has doubled under President Clinton and Vice President Gores leadership, from 1.4 percent of all SES employees in 1993 to 2.8 percent this March. It has increased by 30 employees in only six months, from September of 1998 to March this year.

In addition, as a result of OPMs internal 10-point plan which was launched last fall to improve the representation of Hispanics at the agency, this years hiring of Hispanic applicants has increased to an average of 10 percent of all hires at OPM. The government-wide 9-point plan and the agencys 10-point plan have provided federal agencies with models to improve the representation of Hispanics in the federal workforce.

We need to continue the course, grasp the momentum to achieve full representation of Hispanics in the federal government, Lachance said.

Since the implementation of OPMs 10-point plan, 85 percent of all OPM job vacancy announcements were posted on OPMs website, at www.usajobs.gov, which provided individuals, with or without federal employment status, with the opportunity to apply for these jobs. This is a significant increase from 35 percent in FY 98.

Although Hispanic representation is improving steadily, Hispanics continue to be the only minority group that is underrepresented in the federal government. Currently, Hispanics represent 6.4 percent of the federal workforce, but they comprise 10.8 percent of the civilian labor force.

My commitment is to fulfill President Clintons and Vice President Gores vision to create a government that looks like America by achieving a fully diverse workforce, Lachance added.

At the convention, Director Lachance will sign a historic partnership agreement with LULAC President Rick Dovalina. The agreement strengthens OPMs and LULACs commitment to work together to support and improve employment and career development opportunities for Hispanics at all levels of the federal workforce.

The partnership builds on prior agreements with Hispanic organizations, including OPMs partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to provide Hispanic students with the opportunity to gain work experience in the federal government through paid internships.

Director Lachance also announced that she has made a commitment to sponsor job information/touch screen computer kiosks to ensure that 20 percent of all Hispanic Serving Institutions have kiosks placed at their institutions. The initiative is part of the government-wide Hispanic Employment Initiative. The touch screen computers provide easy access to information on over 10,000 job vacancies in the federal government at any given time. Currently, the kiosks are placed at 27 HACU member locations, including Texas A & M University in Corpus Christi.

The Director announced that the agency will develop a guide on how to retain and promote Hispanics in the federal workforce.

To ensure the success of the Hispanic Employment Initiative, we need to focus on hiring, retention, training and promotion of Hispanic employees, especially from mid-level to senior level positions in government, Lachance concluded.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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