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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 24, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

Federal Civil Service Recruiters Seek out Veterans at Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center

OPM Partners with Veterans Affairs Medical Centers Nationwide to Spread Message of Veterans' Preference and to Court Veterans for Employment

Kansas City, Missouri - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James continues to send recruitment teams on a nationwide outreach to America's veterans, especially disabled veterans.  OPM staff experts visited the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004.

"It is my aim to make certain our veterans, especially those who are disabled, understand the Federal government places a high priority on ensuring they receive due consideration in the Federal hiring process.  Veterans need to know the civil service desires their expertise and continued service to this Nation." James said. "OPM intends to continue taking an aggressive role in seeing to it that veterans in Kansas City and across America are treated with the respect, fairness and dignity befitting their service and sacrifice."

During VAMC visits, veterans are able to meet one-on-one with OPM staff about the opportunities and benefits within the government, veterans' preference and the practical steps of obtaining a Federal job.  These visits are part of an overall OPM effort called the Veteran Invitational Program (VIP), an educational and recruitment strategy which targets military personnel who are transitioning to civilian life. 

Seminars and workshops cover navigation of the www.usajobs.gov website, resume writing, interviewing skills and the Federal application process.  One of the key take-home products is the OPM-produced DVD "What Veterans Need to Know About Veterans' Preference," a comprehensive 40 minute video seminar about veterans' preference rights and eligibilities. 

Kent Hill, Director of the Kansas City VAMC said, "The staff at the Kansas City VA Medical Center was pleased to host OPM's veteran outreach event for employment information.  This event provided a wonderful opportunity for our patients and employees."

Valuable online resources include the VetsInfo Guide which provides general information about how the Federal employment system works and how veterans' preference and the special appointing authorities for veterans operate within the system. Also available is the VetGuide which provides detailed information about the special rights and privileges that veterans enjoy in Federal civil service employment.

The guide conveniently summarizes material from many laws and regulations that affect the employment of veterans.  In addition to the valuable guides several forms needed by veterans, including the SF-15 which is the application for 10-point veteran preference, are also available at www.opm.gov.

OPM has worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to revise, simplify, and in many cases eliminate, the dozens of different form letters the agency had been using to document service-connected disabilities to determine preference.  These letters (now in use by the VA) make it much easier for veterans to claim their preference and for agencies to accord it. 

OPM aggressively reached out to veterans through Phase I of the VIP which was launched in August, 2003 where the agency developed informational brochures and posters to raise the level of awareness among separating soldiers from the U. S. Armed Services.  These materials were distributed to all major veteran service organizations and military separation offices throughout the country.

Visits by OPM experts have been made to Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, Hampton Roads VA Medical Center and VAMCs in Albany, New York and Cleveland, Ohio, with additional visits scheduled for Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Tampa and Jacksonville, FL.   In October, OPM teams plan to visit a number of military installations.

"I look forward to the reports from our recruitment teams which are busy meeting with veterans across the country.  We are committed to servicing veterans in the best way possible and reaching out in new innovative ways to ensure they have heard our message and are aware of the opportunities that await them in the civil service," said James.

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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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