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    There are only 33 days left for Americans to sign up for a health plan in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces.

    We held an exciting event here at OPM this week designed to help parents of young adults about to turn 26 or who are already older than that.

    Why that age group? Because people reaching that age have some decisions to make. Under the Affordable Care Act, children can stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they turn 26.

     But after that, if these young folks are not insured through their jobs, they need to make sure they sign up for a health plan through the ACA Marketplaces.

    We parents know it is not always easy to convince our children to do anything. So the OPM health care team organized this event to give parents some tips on how to counsel their children on the importance of having health insurance. They gave OPM employees some pointers on how their children can go to and find all the information they need about health plans, their costs and how to enroll.

    Young people often believe they are invincible and don’t have to worry about being insured Take it from me, the mother of a young woman, Graciela, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 19. Graciela is well now but she will need health care for the rest of her life. And the Affordable Care Act ensures that no insurance company can refuse to cover her because she has a pre-existing condition.

    So tell your children my daughter’s story, a story that is repeated in families across this country. Convince them to sign up. And then share your experience on my Facebook page and on Twitter. How you convinced your young person to enroll in a health plan may help another parent who is still trying to make the case to their child.

    And remember, the deadline to sign up for this year is March 31. Don’t let it slip by!

    The College Tour continues. Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with students at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

    It was my first visit to Charlottesville. What a beautiful campus!

    I brought some members of my Office of Personnel Management team with me to talk to the students about what it’s like to work for the Federal government and what the opportunities are for Federal service.  They had a good discussion and the students had lots of questions.

    I shared some of my earliest experiences in public service and urged the students give us a try. It’s a message I want to take to young people across the country. We’re looking for fresh talent. We’re looking for people who want to use their skills to help their fellow Americans. We’re looking for our next generation of public service leaders.

    They asked important questions about how to make a resume stand out from the pack and about the process for applying for a Federal job.

    I talked about the incredible variety of jobs in the Federal government that are available all across this great country. I pointed them to and we showed a short video that chronicles the breadth of careers available. 

    I plan to continue my college tour to spread the word about the opportunities in Federal service. I urge all of us in the Federal family to do the same.

    I started my college tour this week with a visit to George Mason University. Talking to students is one of the most important and rewarding parts of my job as Director of the Office of Personnel Management. I want to visit as many campuses as possible to spread the word about the great opportunities for a career in the Federal government.

    On Tuesday, I met with a group of students and faculty. The subject? Web sites. Two sites to be exact: and

    The deadline for enrolling in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for this year is March 31. I urged the students to check out to see all the plans available to them and the possible Federal assistance they can get to help pay the premiums.

    Even if you already have health insurance, as I told the students, share the great information on with anyone you know who needs health coverage. First bookmark the page for yourself. Then Tweet it, Post it. Text it. Like it. Share it. Vine it. Get the word out anywhere you can.

    The other website I urged the George Mason community to look at was I especially told them to click on “Students and recent graduates.” That links to OPM’s Pathways page. There are listings for internships, jobs for recent graduates and information about the Presidential Management Fellows program.

    It’s never too early for students to start planning their Federal career.

    Posted 6:08 PM by

    Welcome to Mentorship Monday!

    January was National Mentoring Month and throughout the Federal government agencies found innovative ways to continue to expand mentorship efforts and to increasingly make mentoring part of our workforce culture. Let’s keep that enthusiasm going!

    I have been fortunate to have wonderful mentors along the way in my career. I know how much they meant to me and I hope as I’ve progressed in my work life I’ve paid that forward by being a mentor to colleagues.

    Mentoring shouldn’t be a top-down experience. When mentorship relationships exist throughout the workforce, it fosters an atmosphere where people feel more engaged and included. This type of workplace environment helps agencies meet their missions through a more productive and successful workforce.

    Just last week, OPM held a brown bag roundtable lunch to talk about a vision for the future of the OPM mentorship program. Participants shared ideas about how to foster a mentoring culture at the agency, and there will be more sessions to come. I plan to share more of these efforts at OPM and other mentorship activities in the coming months.

    So let’s all get on board. Think about ways we can reach out to each other throughout the year to make mentoring a part of the everyday workplace experience. Think about what kind of a mentoring relationship you’re looking for. Talk to colleagues. Start your own group – formal or informal. You can inspire others in your own agency and throughout the Federal government.

    On Mondays, look for me on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets so we can highlight what’s new and exciting on the mentorship front.

    Let’s get mentoring!

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