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Washington, DC - In the year since U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James launched the Veteran Invitational Program (VIP), over five and a half million unique visitors have been guided to usajobs.gov through the program - more than seven percent of over 76 million USAJOBS unique visitors. In addition, the veteran's link on the USAJOBS website is the most used link on the site. Nearly twenty-six percent of all visitors who click a link on the home page use that link. VIP was created to tap the veteran talent pool and strengthen the Federal workforce as well as encourage the use of veterans' preference.
"I have said this many times before; the government does not give veterans' preference, they have earned it. OPM simply enforces it," said James. "The numbers prove there is a vast veteran talent pool that wants to continue to serve America in the Federal civil service. It's now the responsibility of every agency head, every Chief Human Capital Officer and every Federal Human Resource specialist to make sure they keep America's promise and put these brave men and women at the front of the line."
The OPM outreach group is currently conducting seminars nationwide, including a session which explains veterans' preference and veteran appointing authorities. Other seminars and workshops cover navigation of the usajobs.gov website, resume writing, interviewing skills and the Federal application process. One of the key take-home products is the OPM-produced DVD "What Veterans Need to Know About Veterans' Preference," a comprehensive 40 minute video seminar of veterans' preference rights and eligibilities.
Visits have already been made to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and Ft. Stewart, Georgia as well as Hampton, Virginia; Albany, New York; Kansas City, Missouri; Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida and Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Centers. Additional visits are scheduled for Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; Ft. Campbell, Kentucky; Ft. Hood Texas; Camp Pendleton, California; Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
In May 2004, Director James hosted a special symposium for agency human capital leaders, human resources specialists, and program managers on veterans' preference and recruitment. The all-day event focused on advancing existing policies and strategies to recruit veterans into the federal work force, and to reiterate that veterans' preference is the law and not a courtesy.
OPM aggressively reached out to veterans through VIP which was launched in August, 2003. OPM developed informational brochures and posters designed to raise the level of awareness among separating soldiers from the U. S. Armed Services. These materials were distributed to all major veteran service organizations and military separation offices throughout the country.
There are also valuable online resources including the VetsInfo Guide which provides general information about how the system works and how veterans' preference and the special appointing authorities for veterans operate within the system. Also available is the VetGuide which gives detailed information about the special rights and privileges that veterans enjoy in Federal civil service employment.
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.