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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Highlights Key Accomplishments at Interagency Task Force Meeting on Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government

Federal agencies challenged to continue on recent achievements

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James hosted the seventh meeting of the Interagency Task Force (ITF) on Hispanic Employment on September 28, 2004 at the OPM headquarters in Washington, D.C. during National Hispanic Heritage Month. The meeting continued a discussion with various representatives from across the Federal government and Hispanic organizations on how to move forward with additional outreach efforts which result in continued progress at creating a work force that draws on the diverse strengths of America.

In her opening remarks, James acknowledged the importance of National Hispanic Heritage Month and read portions of President George W. Bush's proclamation declaring September 15th - October 15th a time to recognize the contributions made by Hispanic Americans. James also thanked the attendees for their focus on Hispanic employment and for helping achieve progress and results that remove barriers to advancement governmentwide.

"President Bush's commitment to build and maintain a diverse Federal workforce has resulted in larger percentages of Hispanic-Americans being hired by Federal agencies than in previous years." James said. "Under his leadership, the efforts of OPM have focused on holding agencies accountable to improve the civil service and its outreach to this vital community."

Confident that much work remains to be done, James charged the task force with doing more. "I would like to thank the organizations here for the recommendations they have given us to help shape our policies," James said. "I challenge us all to play an active role in continuing the positive trends reported through the data in the FY2003 Statistical Information on Hispanic Employment in Federal Agencies."

Addressing the September ITF meeting were Cari Dominguez, Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Feli Sola-Carter, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources; Social Security Administration. Additionally, senior level representatives from Federal agencies and several Hispanic Serving Institutions were in attendance (see attached list).

Cari Dominguez said, "I want to take this opportunity to recognize the tremendous leadership and stewardship of OPM...not a day goes by where OPM is not making news improving the lives of Federal worker."

James pointed to a number of positive trends found in the FY2003 Statistical Information on Hispanic Employment in Federal Agencies, a report given to President Bush to provide an accounting of the outreach efforts of each Cabinet-level department and major agency. The data showed Hispanic representation in the Federal workforce has increased overall, with increases in management and senior levels.

  • Overall, the number of Hispanic new hires increased in FY2003 in the mid-management and senior management grade levels;
  • Hispanics in the Senior Executive Service (SES) and other senior pay levels rose from 504 in FY2002 to 524 in FY2003, a 4% increase;
  • Hispanic new hires in 2003 represented nearly 10 percent of all Federal new hires.

To help achieve the positive trends, OPM executed an aggressive campaign to make Federal opportunities available to more Americans to fill the leadership pipeline with qualified candidates. This campaign has included: a successful series of recruitment fairs in large, richly-diverse cities such Albuquerque, Tucson, San Antonio, El Paso, Miami, San Diego and New York beginning in September 2003; implementation of eleven "Working for America" Job Fairs - at which 61 agencies were represented; facilitating the participation of 25 agencies at the 2004 League of United Latin American Citizens' National Convention in San Antonio; deploying senior executives nation-wide to share the opportunities for Federal service; and revamping the USAJOBS website. 

James concluded, "OPM will continue supporting the goals of this Administration, supporting our partners in the Hispanic community, and aggressively reaching out to make the opportunities in the Federal government available to all qualified candidates."

The Interagency Task Force on Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government was created by Executive Order 13171. Director James convened its first meeting in October 2001.

List of Participating Hispanic Serving Institutions:

Hispanic College Fund (HCF)

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute (HSFI)

Inter-American Foundation

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

MANA, A National Latina Organization

List of Participating Federal Agencies:

Department of Energy

Department of Health & Human Services

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Justice

Department of State

Department of Transportation

Department of Treasury

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Farm Credit Administration

Federal Communication Commission

General Services Administration

National Archives & Records Administration

National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE)

National Endowment for Humanities

Nuclear Regulatory Agency

Peace Corps

Selective Service System

Small Business Administration

Social Security Administration

USAID

White House

Consumer Product and Safety Commission

Court Services and Offender Supervision

Department of Agriculture

Department of Commerce

Department of Defense

- end -

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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