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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Contact: Chad Cowan
Tel: 202-606-2402

U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Oklahoma City Federal Executive Board Brief Agency Leaders on Emergency Preparedness and Hiring Flexibilties

53 Federal Professionals from 7 Federal Agencies Trained at Recent Seminar

Oklahoma City, OK-- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Deputy Associate Director of the Center for Natural Resources, Solly Thomas, recently spoke with federal employees based in Oklahoma City at a meeting OPM co-hosted with the Oklahoma City Federal Executive Board. Among the 53 attending federal executives were security specialists with responsibilities in emergency planning, as well as human resource professionals.

"At OPM, under the leadership of our Director, Kay Coles James, we are striving to ensure that our employees are protected and remain safe so that vital government services can continue to be provided in the event of a catastrophic event," said Thomas. "We believe that having these types of meetings is critical to ensuring our employees are prepared to effectively respond to challenges that threaten our homeland."

These sessions follow the results of an emergency preparedness survey OPM conducted late last year. The survey asked local agencies to assess key preparedness areas in order to locate those that were deficient and ensure attention was given to these critical issues. Both the emergency preparedness survey and the resulting trainings continue to emphasize the need for agencies to designate emergency personnel, conduct evacuation and shelter-in-place drills, in addition to fully utilize human resource flexibilities, such as telework.

In addition to the focus on emergency preparedness, attendees were instructed on how to utilize human resources flexibilities that exist to attract workers with expertise in information technology, national security and other critical 21st century skills.

"Director James often reminds us it is imperative the federal government be prepared for any contingency, both with the right people and the right knowledge necessary to keep our employees safe," Thomas added.

Agencies represented at the symposium included:

Department. of Defense

Department of Veterans Affairs

Department of Transportation

Department of Justice

Department of Interior

Internal Revenue Service

Small Business Administration

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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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