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News Release

Friday, August 22, 2003
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Sends High Level Official to Midwest's Largest Hispanic Festival

Federal Government to be represented for the first time at the Mexican Fiesta Internacional Job Fair

Washington, D.C. -Dr. Jacob Lozada, Special Advisor on Diversity at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), has been asked by the agency's Director, Kay Coles James, to officially speak for and represent OPM at the Mexican Fiesta Internacional Fair 2003.  This will be the first time in the fair's history that the Federal government will be represented.

Director James anticipates this year's participation will send a strong message to the Hispanic community.  "Every year tens of thousands of people participate in the Mexican Fiesta.  This year, for the first time, the Federal government will be represented," she said.  "This Administration's commitment to diversity is solid and we have a tremendous opportunity to continue our mission of reaching out."

The Bush administration recently published data that showed Hispanic hiring reached an all time high with a 58.1% increase in Hispanic hiring in FY 2002 with almost 10 percent of new hires in 2002 being Hispanic - the highest percentage in history.

OPM has sent a team to staff a recruitment booth to connect with people individually and show them where opportunities exist.  In addition, people will be given the opportunity to see OPM's new USAJOBS website to learn how to navigate it to assist in job searches.

"Director James has said OPM will be proactive in reducing Hispanic under representation and our participation in this incredible event is another step in the right direction," said Dr. Lozada.

By participating in this year's events, OPM hopes to reinforce the President's goal to increase representation of Hispanics in the Federal government as well as inform the Hispanic community about what OPM and the Federal government are doing to provide more opportunities to potential Hispanic job candidates.

Founded in 1975, the Mexican Fiesta Internacional is the Midwest's largest Hispanic festival and draws tens of thousands of people, of mainly Latino heritage, for a full week of cultural and educational events highlighting the Mexican culture.

In addition to providing recruitment information and on site training of the new USAJOBS website, Dr. Lozada will give brief remarks at the opening ceremony.

"We are going where the people are, connecting with real people and offering real jobs," Dr. Lozada added.  "Partnering with key events and organizations like the Mexican Fiesta Internacional is one of the critical pieces in the plan to increase Hispanic representation in the Federal workforce and we believe the continuance of such partnerships will make a sizable contribution to the increase of Hispanics in the civil service."

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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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