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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Contact: Debbie Pafel
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM SENIOR OFFICIALS MEET WITH VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS ON KEY INITIATIVES

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hosted quarterly meeting with Veterans Service Organizations (VSO), providing updates on policies and programs that help America's veterans take advantage of employment opportunities with the Federal government.

"Veterans Service Organizations continue to be one of OPM's key strategic partners in attracting veterans and transitioning military personnel to Federal service. We seek and value their input on critical initiatives affecting the management of people in government," said Associate Director Marta Brito Perez.

George Nesterczuk, senior policy advisor to the Acting Director on the Department of Defense, provided an update on the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). The system will cover the 600,000 Federal civilian employees who work for the Department of Defense.

"When deployed, the National Security Personnel System will offer a flexible, agile, and responsive system," explained Nesterczuk, "without weakening the important core values—merit system principles, veterans' preference, whistleblower protection and due process—that define our civil service. Our carefully crafted and balanced approach will ensure that veterans continue to receive the full measure of the preferences they earned through valued service to their country."

Also of importance to the VSO leaders are recent changes to the Standard Form 15 (SF 15), Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, which is used by veterans and relatives of veterans seeking career positions with the Federal government. Those attending the meeting agreed the availability of the form online, which can be completed electronically or downloaded, is a great assistance to veterans because it streamlines the application process.

OPM's Veteran Liaison Tracy Underwood supplied feedback on the initial response to Phase II of the Veteran Invitational Program (VIP). Currently underway, this phase of the program is an aggressive outreach and educational program for veterans who are transitioning out of the military. Employee assistance experts go to military installations to conduct training sessions that include maximizing job searches on the USAJOBS website (www.usajobs.gov), improving resume writing and interviewing skills, and understanding the special veterans' appointing authorities.

Phase I of VIP started in August 2003 with the mass distribution of posters and other recruiting materials to Veterans Service Organizations and the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training and military separation offices.

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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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