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It’s that time of year again. The time when children begin packing their bags for school, parents are making school lunches, vacations are ending, and the unofficial end of summer comes knocking, sometimes sooner than some would like.

Each year, on the first Monday of September, our nation comes together to recognize a Federal holiday dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, also known as Labor Day. This day has established a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the success, strength, and well-being of our country.  This year, Labor Day falls on September 4th.

It’s a day in which we have the chance to glance back on the history of our great nation, and realize that our tenacity, accomplishments, and growth are all traced back to you – the American worker. The idea of taking a day to celebrate labor is traced back to over 100 years ago.

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 in New York City. Two years later, in 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the official date for the holiday, and 10 years later, in 1894, it was made an official Federal holiday. We are so fortunate as citizens of the United States of America to have the ability to collaborate together through our work, and create new theories, ideas, and ways of thinking. Our entire foundation is built on the idea that every citizen can work towards accomplishing their own unique dream or goal, and therefore continue to strengthen the bonds of the American workforce.

On Monday, we celebrate all those who work towards a better life, and a better nation. Those who put in hours and hours of work every week to be the best version of themselves that they can be. If you think about it, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the drive of the average, everyday American-worker.

So, while you’re out enjoying the sunshine with your friends and family, or taking part in various Labor Day traditions, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the contributions workers have made towards the establishment and continuous well-being of our country. In the end, it’s your work that leads us towards a brighter future.

Happy Labor Day!



Image of four silhouetted women all in different colors. From left to right, pink, blue, orange, green. Text says Women's Equality Day.

Please join me in commemorating Women’s Equality Day this Saturday, August 26, 2017, which marks the 97th anniversary of national women’s suffrage. On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment of the United Sates Constitution was passed, granting women the right to vote. In 1971, 51 years later, the U.S. Congress established Women’s Equality Day.

It’s important to remember that at one point in our nation’s history, women were not seen as the leaders and pioneers we are seen as today. There was a time when women didn’t have the ability to vote, and were often discouraged from obtaining an academic education and told not to pursue a professional career. Times have changed and today, we have the opportunity to accomplish our hopes, dreams, and live our lives to the fullest potential.

The first major women’s rights conference occurred in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. During that meeting, the social, civil, and religious rights of women were discussed. That conference began a movement, and as a career woman myself, I am grateful for their achievements. Over the years, thousands of women participated in marches throughout America, gave speeches, wrote convincing newspaper editorials, and lobbied their Congressmen, all to achieve voting rights for all women. On this day, I invite all my colleagues to pause a moment to reflect on the determination and unyielding spirit demonstrated by these courageous women.

On Women's Equality Day, we celebrate women’s suffrage. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, and look forward to seeing the bright future ahead.

Enjoy Women’s Equality Day!


A blue transparent background on top of the American flag imagery. At the top it says #AmericanHeroesWeek and underneath U.S. Office of Personnel Management Celebrates American Heroes

This week was American Heroes week, giving us time to reflect on the true heroes of our nation. We are a country that is truly blessed to have these individuals step forward as part of their daily routines to keep us safe and preserve our way of life. These heroes come in many forms, ranging from law enforcement officers and members of the military, to public safety officers. Behind the uniform, is a person whose valor and courage stand immeasurable, and will never diminish in value, no matter how much time passes.

America was founded based on the values of heroes. The beginning of this country was carried on the backs of those who had everything to lose, and risked it all, to not only secure their freedom, but also the freedom of future generations. Characteristics of heroism have continued to reveal themselves throughout our history, carrying on into the present.

As I look out my office window, I see a scene of Washington, D.C. and my heart fills with pride. I am proud that here at OPM, it is of great importance to protect those who protect us. I am inspired daily by the men and women of this agency who have served in our nation’s military, who protect the walls of the very building we work in, and those who work day in and day out to make sure our heroes will have a place to create a life after they’ve risked it all to protect our freedoms.  As President Donald J. Trump said earlier this week, “[W]e are celebrating American heroes.  And nothing fills our hearts with more pride than to be with those who risked everything to protect our citizens and preserve our way of life.”

At OPM, we are committed to helping transitioning military service members continue their service through Federal careers.  As part of the Federal Veterans Employment Initiative, OPM, in its role as Vice Chair of the Interagency Council on Veterans Employment, created the one-stop Federal employment information resource for veterans, Feds Hire Vets.   On this site, transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members have access to key information to ease the transition to Federal employment.  The Federal Veterans Employment Initiative is a strategic initiative, but has a very straightforward approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. It also underscores the importance of aligning the talents of these individuals with key civil service positions so the Government is better positioned to meet mission objectives and citizens are better served.   Today veterans make up approximately 31 percent of the Federal family.

Helping those who have done so much for the United States of America is the best way to show you care. OPM cares, I care, and the Federal government cares.

Thank you to our American Heroes, we wouldn’t be where we are today without you. 


Image has all four logos for the work-life programs against a white background. In the left top hand corner is the light green telework logo with two upward arrows and the word telework inside the bottom arrow. On the right top hand corner is the red health and wellness logo with the words health and wellness in a white heart. In the left hand bottom corner is the purple family and dependent care logo with three white icons of people joined together as if in a hug and the text family and dependent care across the icons in purple. In the right hand bottom corner is the yellow employee assistance program logo, containing a white hand icon and the text employee assistance program in yellow. A blue line is below all the logos with the words #WorkLife4Feds in white text aligned right. Besides this bar is the blue work-life logo with contains to white chain links and the text work-life beside it to the right. Underneath to the left is the text OPM.gov

In today's world, employees often seek work-life solutions.  I’m happy to report that the Federal Government is a leader in promoting work-life balance for its workforce.  Work-life solutions are powerful management tools which help the Federal Government recruit and engage qualified talent, and give employees the resources to help them pursue healthy, fulfilling lives.  In fact, analysis of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) data has identified work-life support as a key driver of engagement in the Federal workforce.

The Federal Government offers a variety of work-life programs and flexibilities to assist agencies in promoting work-life balance for their employees.  To assist agencies, OPM recently produced a series of new work-life brochures on family and dependent care, worksite health and wellness, telework, and employee assistance programs.  These work-life brochures increase awareness of options available in the Federal Government and illustrate their potential value for individuals, families, and organizations.

Managers and employees in our Federal community are invited to take the Introduction to Leave, Work-Life, and Workplace Flexibilities Course, explore OPM's Work-Life website and Telework.gov, and reach out to your local HR office for more information about services potentially available to you.

In the upcoming months, OPM will release the Government-wide results of the first Federal Work-Life Survey, which was administered in early 2017.  This new data will inform our analysis of the work-life needs and priorities of Federal employees.  These survey results will be used to help evaluate the relationship between work-life programs and organizational benefits.  Finally, senior leaders and managers will be able to consider these results as they make decisions regarding these programs. 

OPM will continue working with agency leaders across the government to ensure they have the necessary tools for an engaged, productive workforce.  Ultimately, our goal is to create work environments where each employee contributes to the success of the agency while reaching his or her full potential.  I believe that work-life solutions can be valuable tools in this endeavor.


In the middle of image there is the text OPM Research Summit in white and gray with the logo on top, three overlapping triangles, first a medium light yellow triangle, and a small dark orange triangle, and last a large blue triangle. Underneath is the text #OPMResearchSummit

On June 7, OPM, in conjunction with American University School of Public Affairs, hosted the 2nd Annual OPM Research Summit. The theme of the summit “Transforming Human Capital Management Policy through Research, Innovation, and Analytics” set the tone for an energy-filled, jam-packed day full of innovative ideas, conversations, and collegial debate with one main goal in mind - to identify potential ways to improve Human Capital Management Policy.

The Summit brought together more than 300 Federal practitioners, academic researchers, non-profits, and industry leaders, representing 56 Federal agencies, 13 universities, 49 companies and the general public. The Summit continued to build and strengthen relationships across these sectors.   

This year’s summit featured two keynote speakers, Steve Goodrich and Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, individual presentations, panel sessions, roundtable discussions, and a symposium, all in which focused on four specific human capital management policy areas: (1) Analytics and Technology, (2) Diversity and Inclusion, (3) Performance Management, and (4) Workforce Reshaping. 

The Federal Government is challenged to do “more with less” but manage to do it better, and to do it faster, and to be more efficient. One way we can accomplish such an enormous challenge is to bring more ideas, experiences, evidence, data, and research to the table. The Summit attempted to do this by encouraging, fostering, identifying, and gathering insights and perspectives among stakeholders from multiple communities. When we draw on the knowledge of a diverse workforce, we are better able to distinguish the best possible way to serve our customers, the American citizenry. 

The Research Summit is just another exceptional example of what can be accomplished when the Federal Government, academia, and private industries engage one another in order to develop new ideas and implementations through research.

I look forward to next year’s Research Summit and building new partnerships.

Thank you to all who were in attendance, and for a job well done. 


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