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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 15, 2004
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Receives National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives' 2004 Distinguished Federal Service Award

The Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes James, the first non Hispanic to receive the award, for "excellence in leadership, creativity and innovation resulting in success and significant achievements that have had a positive impact on the

Hispanic community."

James has "established a greater focus on efforts by OPM and other agencies to create a truly diverse federal workforce," says NAHFE President and CEO Manuel Oliverez

Washington, D.C. - In honor of her steadfast commitment to create a diverse federal workforce, the National Association of Hispanic Executives has awarded U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James the 2004 Distinguished Public Service Award. The ceremony came during NAHFE's 13th Annual Executive Leadership Development and Diversity Training and Recruitment Conference.

Accepting her award, James said: "My desire is for the federal government to be the model of diversity for all of America. We want to be the tangible proof that benefits can come to those who recruit the best and brightest from every segment of society...to do the right thing. It must be understood that diversity means more than just having or creating a policy of inclusion, it means actively recruiting, developing and promoting a workforce that is drawn from and represents the diverse face of this nation. Progress has been made, but much more remains to be done and OPM is committed to working in partnership to achieve results."

"Hispanic-serving organizations must play a key role in our efforts," said James. "Only when we partner, and together reach out to attract Hispanics to federal service, will we truly be successful. I thank NAHFE for their positive approach to outreach and achieving results on behalf of Hispanic-Americans nationwide."

The Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes James, the first non Hispanic to receive the award, for "excellence in leadership, creativity and innovation resulting in success and significant achievements that have had a positive impact on the Hispanic community."

"Director James was selected as a recipient of this prestigious award because she has fostered and maintained an outstanding and pro-active relationship between OPM and NAHFE," said NAHFE President and CEO Manuel Oliverez. "In addition, she has established a greater focus on efforts by OPM and other agencies to create a truly diverse federal workforce.  I am extremely appreciative of the fact that Director James has initiated and kept an open door policy that has created a long-lasting and fruitful relationship that goes beyond the professional level.  It is producing results and for that she should be honored."

Other OPM speakers at the NAHFE conference included: Dan Blair, Deputy Director; Hughes Turner, Deputy Associate Director, Center for Leadership and Executive Resources Policy, who spoke about executive core competencies in qualifying for the Senior Executive Service; and Dr. Jacob Lozada, Special Advisor for Adversity, who informed the participants on ‘Strategies for Success' in their federal career.

OPM has a comprehensive and aggressive outreach strategy to recruit applicants for federal vacancies, including going to college campuses to begin the work of recruitment, and granting flexibilities to give government managers the authority to bring in student interns and recent college graduates with on-the-spot hiring. OPM also deployed senior executives nationwide to share the opportunities for federal service.

Earlier this year, OPM participated in the 2004 League of United Latin American Citizens' (LULAC) National Convention in San Antonio and visited Albuquerque, Tucson, San Antonio, El Paso, Miami, San Diego and New York. The fairs featured a governmentwide USAJOBS booth showcasing jobs throughout the Nation. OPM volunteers were also available to assist students with navigating the website, www.usajobs.gov, and to provide assistance in applying for the thousands of opportunities available in the federal government.

In addition, the Presidential Management Fellows Program is designed to recruit the best and brightest from graduate-level programs across the country into the federal civil service. The program offers opportunities for talented and capable individuals who seek to enter into the government's leadership ranks.

Illustrating the positive trends is the FY2003 Statistical Information on Hispanic employment in federal agencies, an OPM report given to President Bush to provide an accounting of the outreach efforts of each Cabinet-level department and major agency.

The data shows Hispanic representation in the federal workforce has increased overall, with more significant increases at the 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.

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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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