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Washington, D.C. - Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), released to Congress the annual Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government report for fiscal year 2002. For the second year in a row the new hires of veterans in the Federal government showed strong improvement. Over the past year, new veteran hires increased by 19.2 percent. Veterans represent 17 percent of all new hires in the Federal Government and 26 percent of all full-time permanent new hires.
"We must never forget that the many freedoms we enjoy as a Nation did not come freely. They were earned through the lives and selfless sacrifices of our veterans. We owe them a debt we can never fully repay. Providing our veterans with the hiring preference they have earned is but a small way of acknowledging their sacrifice and demonstrating our thanks," stated James.
As of September 30, 2002 the Federal government employed 450,100 veterans. Compared to the civilian labor force, the Federal Government employs two times the percentage of veterans, over three times the percentage of Vietnam-era veterans, over five times the percentage of disabled veterans and over six times the percent of 30 percent or more disabled veterans.
For fiscal year 2002 the hiring of 30 percent or more disabled veterans increased by 8.3 percent over FY 2001. Eleven of 17 executive departments and 15 of the 27 independent agencies showed an increase in their representation of disabled veterans in their new hires.
"I am proud of the strides Federal agencies have made towards the employment of veterans. With our military actively engaged in the fight against terrorism, we must not falter in our commitment to the employment of these dedicated Americans," James said. "Nor can we forget that disabled veterans are heroes who have paid a price so dear that it will stay with them for the rest of their lives. These veterans bring strength, commitment, an ethos of public service, and uncommon character to the workplace. Therefore, I challenge all of my colleagues in Federal service to improve upon the FY 2002 results in the coming fiscal year."
To further drive results in veterans hiring, OPM created the Veteran Invitational Program (VIP), a new initiative which provides men and women in transition from military service to civilian life with timely, accurate and useful information regarding civilian employment opportunities with the Federal government. The VIP provides recruitment materials designed to inform veterans of the Government's obligation to grant them preference in federal employment opportunities. The materials, which include posters, trifold brochures and wallet-sized card, are designed to educate veterans about their rights and continuing employment opportunities with the Federal government. "The new VIP program will educate veterans and allow a timely and accurate dispersion of information on job opportunities in the federal workforce," James said.
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.