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Welcome! We are committed to recruiting and retaining a world-class workforce for the American people.
Take a look at our blogs and share with others. Once you are on a particular blog page, you can give us the thumbs up. Connect with Acting Director Cobert on Twitter: @OPMDirector and Facebook.com/OPMDirector. Also, find us on other social media channels.
we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Pathways Programs, I’m excited to
share a study that highlights the
way this program has significantly contributed to the Federal Government’s
ability to recruit, develop, and retain a world-class workforce.
Government is only as successful as the people who carry its mission forward. And,
with more Federal employees becoming eligible for retirement each day, students,
college graduates, and advanced degree holders are a great source of talent. Pathways
includes internships, positions for recent graduates, and our Presidential
Management Fellows program. If you are a student or recent graduate interested
in the many opportunities in the Federal Workforce, please visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/studentsandgrads
In his 2010 Executive Order that helped establish what has
become today’s Pathways Programs, the President said that “the Federal
Government benefits from a diverse workforce that includes students and recent
graduates who infuse the workplace with their enthusiasm, talents, and unique
perspectives.” I couldn’t agree more.
Research tells us
that students and recent graduates about to enter the workforce believe in
public service and want to make a difference. The Federal Government needs to
tap into that innovative spirit and commitment to service. And that is exactly
what our Pathways programs continue to do.
conducted a Pathways Programs study to analyze agencies’ use of Pathways,
highlight best practices, and develop recommendations for how to improve the
effectiveness and efficiency of the program.
One exciting finding
was that 93 percent of Pathways Programs participants surveyed said they plan
to remain at their current agency or continue to work in the Federal Government
in the immediate future. This is good news for our nation.
To help build on our
success, and working with our partners at the White House Office of Management
and Budget and Presidential Personnel office, OPM this year began a Hiring
Excellence Campaign (HEC) designed to improve, modernize, and transform the way
we recruit and hire new talent into the Federal service. Improving the use of
Pathways is one part of that effort. To find out more about HEC, or to register
for an upcoming session, please visit www.OPM.gov/HiringExcellence.
At OPM we want to help
agencies across government make the most of the Pathways program and do all
they can to encourage students, recent graduates, and advanced degree holders
to use Pathways to try out a Federal career.
OPM has developed a
Pathways toolkit to help hiring managers and HR professionals make the most out
of these exciting programs. The toolkit includes a handbook for HR specialists,
a toolkit for hiring managers, Pathways flexibilities charts, and a webinars to
help supervisors and HR staff better use Pathways. You can get more information
on these sessions at HRU.gov.
Each day OPM and our
partners across government are working to improve the way we attract, develop,
and retain the critical talent we need to fulfill our missions and service the
American people. Tools and initiatives such as the Hiring Excellence Campaign,
training opportunities on HRU.gov, and the Pathways toolkit are invaluable resources
that can help us meet this important challenge.
The summer is flying by. Youngsters have begun picking out their new notebooks and backpacks as they get ready to go back to school. This may be a good time for Federal employees to consider going back to the classroom to enhance their knowledge and skills.
It’s possible the path forward in your career is in another field - perhaps even one that did not exist a few years ago. Or maybe you just want to develop in your current career. This might even be a great time to build a career in one of our high-demand fields like information technology, health care, accounting, or cybersecurity.
Each year the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey tells us that Federal employees want more opportunities to enrich their learning and branch out into new fields and new opportunities.
Take it from Tameka Lyons. She was already enrolled in the University of Maryland University College when she joined the National Institutes of Health. She found out about the tuition discount for Federal employees. For Tameka, the 25 percent discount on her tuition meant she was able to fund her last two semesters out of pocket. “I didn’t need to take out loans, so that was just an awesome feeling,” she said. Tameka said she didn’t have to contemplate taking fewer classes because she was worried about being saddled with so much debt.
Tameka, who is now an HR specialist at the Department of Justice, is just one of the many Federal employees taking advantage of this important benefit.
If you’re thinking about where to go to get the advanced learning that will help you take the next step on your career path, I wanted to make sure you knew about the tuition discounts on higher education that are available to you, your spouse, and your legal dependents. These are opportunities for both in person and online learning, depending on the program. OPM has made agreements with these six institutions and we’re working on more alliances in the future. Here are the available programs and the links to more information about their classes.
I encourage all Federal employees to continue to expand their knowledge and education – whether through the programs listed above or in the many other educational programs available at your agency or at schools across the country. We hope these discounts make it easier for you and your family to reach your educational goals.
One of any leader’s most important responsibilities is to engage his or her workforce. When your employees don’t work in the same building as you do, creating an engaged workforce can seem even more challenging. As more and more of our colleagues telework or work remotely, it’s even more important that we find ways to make them fully included partners in the work we do every day.
I’m happy to report that OPM has some ideas that can help, and we’re sponsoring an online webinar to share some of them.
Please join us on Tuesday, August 16, at 11:00 am EDT (please log in no later than 10:55 a.m.) for the fifth of eight, no-cost monthly Employee Engagement webinars. I’ll be hosting this month’s session entitled: “Engaging a Remote Workforce.”
This Employee Engagement series is based on extensive research and is consistent with OPM’s Strategic Goal of providing leadership to help agencies create a fully engaged and energized workforce. If you are a Federal employee responsible for implementing employee engagement initiatives, or just interested in current employee engagement research, best practices, and impact measures, then this webinar is for you.
To register, please visit the OPM Webinar Series page.
In case you can’t make it, I’d like to share the top two things you can do to help engage your remote workforce:
Structure your communications
If you’re able to join us on the 16th, I’ll share strategies to make these happen and even more tips.
As always, please keep an eye on OPM’s Webinar Series page for opportunities to engage with our experts on a variety of topics to help in your work: OPM Webinar Series page.
Summer is a great time for beach getaways, barbecues in the backyard, and other outdoor activities that we long for during the cold, winter months.
But it’s also a time when severe heat and humidity – like we’ve seen during this summer season – make it necessary for us all to take precautions to protect ourselves and our family’s health and well-being.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have teamed up to remind all of us, including agencies and employees across government about what they can do to protect all Federal workers during potentially dangerous heat waves.
Regardless of where we work, we can all follow some basic common-sense practices as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible; wear lightweight, light-colored clothing; drink more water than usual, and check for extreme heat alerts.
It’s also important to remember that for Federal employees, OPM’s workplace flexibilities that may be used to reduce health risks during such extreme heat periods. If your supervisor approves, telework-ready employees may telework from home on a day when air quality conditions are poor. If your agency policies allow, an employee working a flexible work schedule may elect to adjust when they come to work and when they leave in order to avoid commuting during the hottest period of the day. Employees can also ask for annual leave, earned compensatory time or credit hours on a day when severe heat and humidity are threatening their health and welfare.
OPM has issued a memorandum to Chief Human Capital Officers across government outlining these flexibilities and including some Federal Government websites that offer more tips on how to handle severe heat and humidity conditions.
I know that all Federal employees are dedicated and committed to doing all they can to serve the American people. At the same time, we all must be mindful of protecting our health during severe weather events - whether cold and storm during winter or the kind of high temperatures and humidity we’ve been experiencing this summer.
As a part of a system-wide upgrade to the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) website, the site will be in transition from July 30 through September 1. During this period, there will be a blackout on participants being able to request reimbursements from their FSA.
The blackout is necessary to allow WageWorks, which was recently awarded a new contract, to set up an enhanced process to file claims and use the FSAFEDS website.
OPM regrets that the blackout may cause inconvenience for some FSAFEDS participants and we understand their concern. However, given the broad scope of the transition, the sensitive nature of the data involved, and the significant security requirements, a claims blackout period of four weeks is necessary. When the upgrades are complete, we are confident that FSAFEDS will be equipped to deliver enhanced service to participants.
In preparation for the transition period, OPM has given FSAFEDS participants several months’ notice through outreach including letters and emails. To minimize the inconvenience, we have scheduled the blackout in late summer, when claim volumes are typically lowest.
For specific information on the transition period, we recommend that participants visit www.fsafeds.com, which includes a FAQ. Participants may also contact the FSAFEDS Program Office at FSA@opm.gov.
In addition, there is still time for participants to file claims for reimbursement before the blackout period begins on July 30.
FSAFEDS allows participants to save money for health care expenses with a Health Care or Limited Expense Health Care FSA. Think of it as a pre-tax savings account that helps you pay for items that typically aren’t covered by a Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plan, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, or other health insurance coverage. FSAFEDS also offers another account called Dependent Care FSA. This account allows employees to set aside money for day care expenses for young children and elder care expenses.
We thank everyone for their support of FSAFEDS and for your patience while we go through this transition.
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