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Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James has alerted agency human capital officers to a DVD produced to encourage the continued hiring of qualified veterans for federal jobs.
James informed agency Chief Human Capital Officers about the OPM-produced DVD, "What Veterans Need to Know About Veterans' Preference," to encourage adherence to laws guaranteeing veterans receive proper consideration for federal civil service jobs.
"I want to stress the importance of honoring the service of our Nation's veterans by ensuring they receive every opportunity to continue to serve this country in the United States civil service," James wrote in the memo. "Veterans have served our country with distinction; they have put their civilian lives on hold to defend our democratic principles and protect our allies around the world; and they have sacrificed in ways we cannot begin to understand."
While acknowledging "pride" in having veterans comprise 25 percent of the federal work force, James said top management and hiring officials "can and should do more" to ensure veterans get "the employment rights they have earned."
"Veterans represent a cross section of our nation, and these men and women have given up years of their lives to serve our nation," said James. "Through their service, they have acquired many important skills and personal attributes that are easily transferable to and needed in federal civilian service. As a nation, we should not be satisfied until every veteran who wants to continue serving America is given that opportunity."
In 2003, James, the Bush Administration's chief advisor on federal human resources issues, challenged agencies to increase veteran hiring with the creation of the Veteran Invitational Program (VIP). OPM designed the program as a way to get information on Veterans' Preference and federal job opportunities to men and women leaving the military for civilian life. James expanded the program in 2004.
In Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, an annual report for Congress, OPM data for fiscal year 2003 show veterans federal employment increased for the third consecutive year. Veterans accounted for 33 percent of full-time permanent new-hires in fiscal 2003, a 7 percent increase over fiscal 2002. As a percentage of full-time permanent new-hires, disabled veterans nearly doubled their presence in federal offices over the same period. As of September 30, 2003, the federal government employed 449,009 veterans.
This week, OPM will release the Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program (DVAAP) Plans report for fiscal 2002, which details federal agencies' activities to recruit, employ and promote veterans with disabilities, as well as certain Vietnam-era and post-Vietnam-era veterans.
"With the maturity, experience and loyalty officers and enlisted personnel bring to the table, federal agencies and taxpayers are the ultimate beneficiaries of an expanded veteran presence in the workplace," said James.
OPM recruitment and outreach officials conduct seminars nationwide, including sessions with explain Veterans' Preference and veteran appointing authorities. Other seminars and workshops cover navigating OPM's USAJOBS web site and using featured tools such as résumé writing and automatic job notification.
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.