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Today I am in San Antonio talking to members of our nation’s Armed Forces and veterans about opportunities for them to continue to serve this great nation by applying for jobs in the civilian workforce.

Photo of Acting Director Cobert having a conversation with an Armed Forces member.

As part of the "State of the Union: Cabinet in Your Community" tour, OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert is visiting with veterans and community leaders in San Antonio, TX today.

I want to share an op-ed that appears in today’s San Antonio Express-News and expresses the Administration’s commitment to and support for our veterans.

“Each year, about 25,000 military service members take off their uniforms and settle in the San Antonio/Fort Hood area to make the transition to civilian life. It is up to each of us to honor the men and women who have so valiantly served this great nation by helping make that transition as successful as possible.

As Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, I’m in San Antonio this week to showcase the opportunities for veterans in Federal workforce and to make sure veterans know how to access the resources available to them. I’m meeting with veterans, with organizations that support veterans, and with community and business leaders to talk about the work OPM does every day to help agencies across government live up to the President’s 2009 Executive Order entitled “Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government.”

And, as the daughter of a World War II and Korean War Air Force lieutenant, this effort also is personal for me. I know how much my dad’s experience in the service opened up a whole new world to a kid from Brooklyn and how much his service helped shape his future success.

In his 2015 Veterans Day Proclamation, President Obama called on all of us to dedicate ourselves to honoring those who stepped up to protect us. At OPM, we are taking this mission very seriously.

The President’s Executive Order clearly laid out three objectives: That we honor our obligations to our nation’s veterans; that we use the talents of veterans to help the Federal Government meet today’s dynamic challenges; and that we create a model veterans employment program.

The Executive Order also established the Veterans Employment Initiative and created the President’s Council on Veterans Employment. I’m honored to be the vice chair of that council, which is co-chaired by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

We have accomplished a lot. In fiscal year 2009, the year the President signed his Executive Order, veterans represented 25.8 percent of Federal employees. In fiscal year 2015, veterans accounted for 31 percent of the total Federal workforce nationwide and 58 percent of Federal employees in San Antonio.

In order to build on our success, in 2016 the Council will focus on women veterans and how to help agencies retain their valuable veterans.

We want to broaden opportunities for veterans across the Federal Government. As part of the Veterans Employment Initiative, OPM created FedsHireVets.gov, a one-stop shopping website for veterans to get employment information. Veterans Employment Program Offices are in place in 24 agencies and the website provides information about how veterans can connect with these offices to learn about career opportunities and how to navigate the Federal employment process.

Veterans bring distinctive training, skills, leadership, and experiences that we need at every agency in the Federal government. An example is the increasing need we have for people trained in information technology and other technical areas.

OPM’s Veterans Services team is here with me this week and will be hosting a workshop to train military members and veterans on techniques for writing a Federal résumé and using USAJOBS.gov, the Federal Government’s main online portal for those seeking Federal employment.

I will continue working with veterans all across this great nation as OPM helps agencies recruit, hire, and retain the military members who choose to continue to serve this great nation following their military service.

Most of all, I want to thank the women and men who made the decision to serve, and those who want to continue to dedicate their efforts to serving their fellow Americans by joining the two-million strong Federal workforce.”


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