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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Contact: Beverly Ward
Tel: 202-606-2402

Chief Human Capital Officers Council Training Academy Focuses on Assisting Americans with Disabilities in Joining the Federal Workforce

OPM and EEOC Partner to Co-sponsor Session

Washington, D.C.- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today co-hosted a meeting of the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council Training Academy focusing on how agencies can provide assistance to Americans with disabilities who want to join the Federal Government.  Presentations were made from four agencies, including OPM, EEOC, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

"Persons with disabilities are valued, contributing members of the American workforce, but we know they often face challenges in finding jobs," said Acting OPM Director Mike Hager. "OPM is committed to helping Federal agencies better understand how to hire and retain persons with disabilities."

EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp said, "We are grateful to OPM for arranging this meeting to help advance opportunities for a key segment of the workforce. While the decreasing participation rate of people with targeted disabilities in the Federal Government is troubling, programs like the CHCO Council Training Academy provide Federal agencies with the knowledge and resources necessary to reverse this trend.  Through outreach and enforcement work with projects such as the CHCO Council Training Academy and the Commission's LEAD Initiative, EEOC will continue to ensure that individuals with disabilities are fully included in the Federal workforce."  

The CHCO Council Training Academy provides training to Federal human resource professionals, helping them to improve their skills, gain optimal guidance and share best practices as they confront major challenges in human capital management. Today's session provided both a refresher for agency human resource employees on Federal disability hiring policy and highlighted programs developed to carry out the policy.

OPM and EEOC officials reviewed hiring policies and procedures designed to enable people with disabilities to participate fully in the workplace. The Department of Veterans Affairs showcased its unified policy guidance and selective placement practices for individuals with disabilities. The Department of Treasury detailed the development of a strategic and tactical alignment of their human capital and EEO practices. Treasury representatives also discussed their recent Disability Summit and Career Fair. 

The CHCO Council Training Academy sessions provide a valuable platform for highlighting and showcasing agency human capital practices.  In FY 2007 and 2008, approximately 700 staff members from CHCO Council agencies attended the twelve sessions. 

OPM has developed a number of initiatives to help Americans with disabilities seeking Federal jobs. Among these is development of the website http://www.opm.gov/disability/ which provides information related to organizations that focus on the needs of persons with disabilities. It has proven to be a valuable tool for job applicants and employees with disabilities, Federal managers and supervisors and human resources professionals.  Through its USAJOBS television recruitment campaign, OPM has featured disabled Federal employees to highlight exciting career positions are available to persons with disabilities.  The agency also is assisting disabled veterans interested in Federal civilian employment through three Veterans' Outreach Offices it has established.

The EEOC enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additional information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.  LEAD stands for Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities.

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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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