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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Deputy Director Dan G. Blair addressed attendees of the third annual Asian Pacific American Federal Career Advancement Summit in Crystal City, Virginia. The Summit was hosted by OPM and the Department of Labor.
OPM Director Kay Coles James and Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao joined their agencies in a special partnership to pursue opportunities designed to reach out to Asian Pacific Americans.
"I am delighted to witness the results of the unique leadership, which OPM and the Department of Labor have formed, to focus on fully applying the outstanding talent found in the Asian Pacific American community to public service," stated Blair. "I am struck by the common thread that runs through the federal family - that of dedication to work, the level of commitment to mission, and the overall pride and enthusiasm at being part of America's team, part of America's civil service."
The summit was created to focus on providing management insights, skills training and other career opportunities to help Asian Pacific American government employees advance in the federal government. This year's 3rd annual summit featured plenary sessions and workshops in the areas of organizational success and diversity, leadership skills, career development, enhancing personal competencies, Executive Core Qualifications, and other topics of interest to Asian-Pacific American government employees.
Recognizing the increasing diversity of the United States, President George W. Bush has charged OPM with the tasks of encouraging people from all backgrounds to consider careers in the federal government, and ensuring that federal employment is open to all qualified Americans, creating a federal work force reflective of the people it serves,
Representation of Asian Pacific Americans generally mirrors that of the private-sector work force. As of last September, approximately 4.6 percent of the permanent federal work force was Americans of Asian or Pacific decent, compared to 4.5 percent in the U.S. civilian labor force.
According to Blair, there are several innovative OPM efforts to improve underrepresentation in the more senior ranks. The Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program (CDP) recently developed by OPM, presents competitive programs designed to create pools of qualified executives for SES positions. Through the CDP, participants are certified and may be selected for an SES position anywhere in the federal government, without further competition.
Another successful pipeline is the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) which was recently completely overhauled to create a flexible, customer focused method for the recruitment and retention of top talent into the federal civil service.
The SES CDP and PMF are succession planning and management training programs for which OPM can aggressively recruit in traditionally underrepresented communities.
"The PMF and SES CDP programs offer viable entry mechanisms for high potential candidates to enter into the federal government's leadership rank at all levels and branches of the federal government," said Blair. "At OPM, we are working to streamline the hiring processes and modernize the government's compensation system so that the federal government is positioned to compete with the private sector for highly skilled and qualified individuals."
Attending this year's summit were approximately 850 federal employees, ranging from grades 11 up through the senior executive ranks, including Human Resource personnel, EEO managers and counselors.
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.