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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 18, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Issues Memo Calling on Federal Executive Boards to Further Focus on Increasing Hispanic Recruitment Efforts as Part of Overall Outreach Initiatives

James says, "We have made significant gains, but much more remains to be done."

Washington, D.C. - While the Federal Government has generally succeeded in becoming an employer of choice among diverse applicant pools, U.S. Office of Personnel Director Kay Coles James says "there are still challenges to be met regarding Hispanic Employment and will continue to do more to encourage partnerships with Hispanic and other organizations." In response, Director James is today issuing a memo (attached) calling upon Federal Executive Boards (FEB) to share information and ideas with local federal agencies to further assist in efforts to recruit and retain a diverse federal workforce.

"Since the first day of his Administration, President Bush has given us the goal of transforming government. We are fully committed to improving overall diversity outreach efforts throughout the Federal workforce and have seen significant gains as a result."

In just the past two years, the percentage of new Hispanic hires in the Federal workforce rose from 8.2 to 9.7 percent. And since 2000, there has been an 18 percent increase in the number of Hispanics who are in mid-to-senior level positions in the Federal workforce.

In a memo being sent to all FEBs, James stressed the fact that they are a major factor in the progress that has been made in outreach, recruitment and retention of Hispanic Americans. She suggested 11 points that will assist FEBs and local Federal agencies on a continued path of improvement:

  • Disseminate information on tools available to Federal agencies (such as the Student Employment Program, the Outstanding Scholar Program, Cooperative Education and Student Work-Study Programs, Presidential Management Fellows Program, and the Bilingual-Bicultural program).
  • Sponsor local job fairs - college recruiting is a key to maintaining a minority presence at our Federal agencies.
  • Utilize the job-information fact sheets in Spanish available on the OPM USAJOBs website, as well as Spanish-language versions of retirement and other employee benefits materials.
  • Place recruitment ads in Hispanic magazines and publications.
  • Distribute press releases and other information to key Hispanic organizations and news media.
  • Provide the media with profiles of Hispanics serving in government.
  • Place Public Service Announcements (PSAs) of Spanish radio stations.
  • Support Hispanic organizations, and encourage Federal agencies to support them by partnering and participating in their training conferences.
  • Participate in the annual conferences sponsored by Hispanic organizations.
  • Ensure that job seekers are aware of current critical needs in the Federal government.
  • Encourage students to "reach for the stars" by promoting Federal careers in critically needed disciplines such as math, sciences and computer technology.

For its part, OPM will continue to provide policy guidance to address diversity outreach efforts and take the lead in promoting diversity governmentwide. OPM will also continue to submit its annual report on Hispanics in the federal work force to the President, with findings and recommendations on the progress agencies have made implementing the Order.

Director James has led OPM to increase its effort to cast a wide net as it seeks to inform and recruit qualified job seekers from all segments of society through an aggressive campaign which 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 (LULAC) Citizens' National Convention in San Antonio; co-sponsored several events with the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE); promoted and participated in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) intern program; deploying senior executives nation-wide to share the opportunities for Federal service; and revamping the USAJOBS website. 

In addition, OPM Director James leads the Interagency Task Force on Hispanic Employment which assesses Federal agency's overall progress in complying with the requirements of the Executive Order 13171.

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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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