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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Announces Plans to Provide On-Line Training to Hiring Officials Who Will Help Level the Playing Field for Those With Disabilities

OPM also will conduct a hiring fair aimed at those with disabilities

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) joined President Barack Obama today in underscoring the administration's commitment to ensuring that every American worker has access to opportunity, including the 54 million people across the nation living with disabilities. To "level the playing field" for those with disabilities, OPM announced it will launch on-line training opportunities for Federal hiring officials.

"I believe strongly that the Federal government should be the model of diversity for all of America," said OPM Director John Berry.  "And that America includes an amazing untapped talent pool of people with disabilities who are eager and ready to join the Federal government. We must do more than just enact inclusive policies, we must actively recruit, develop, retain and promote a workforce that is drawn from and represents the diverse faces of this nation."

The training OPM will be offering, and which will be available to Federal agencies in November, is designed to educate managers, supervisors and human resources managers on ways to use the Schedule A Hiring Authority to recruit and hire talented individuals with disabilities.

In addition to the training, OPM, in coordination with the Department of Labor (DOL), will hold a hiring fair in the spring for those with disabilities. The fair will bring together a number of Federal agencies that have immediate hiring needs and that will hire "on-the-spot."

Throughout the day, OPM, DOL, the Department of Defense's Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will provide workshops on a variety of topics, including how to apply for Federal jobs, special hiring authorities, and information on assistive and communications technology.

"As the nation's largest employer, the Federal government and its contractors can lead the way by implementing effective employment policies and practices that increase opportunities and help workers achieve their full potential," said President Obama. "We must also rededicate ourselves to fostering an inclusive work culture that welcomes the skills and talents of all qualified employees."

Last week, the President announced the Administration is taking several steps to ensure that there is fair and equal access to employment for all Americans and called on responsible agencies to develop new plans and policies to help increase employment across America for people with disabilities.

To further address the need for a diverse workforce, OPM will create and lead a task force comprised of representatives from key Federal agencies that have developed and implemented model practices for recruiting, retaining and advancing employees with disabilities. The task force will report on the innovative practices agencies use to encourage the employment of individuals with disabilities. It also will report "best" practices for conducting outreach, recruiting, hiring qualified candidates, successful accommodations, and providing opportunities for career advancement at all levels.

"Hiring a diverse workforce means hiring people with disabilities. This should be a core objective of the Federal government because it works," said Berry. "I have seen these benefits first hand in government and the private sector."

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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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