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    News Release

    Tuesday, August 02, 2011
    Contact: Brittney Manchester
    Tel: 202-606-2402

    Federal Agencies Sponsor 2011 Veterans Employment Symposium

    In support of President Obama's Veterans Initiative

    Image of armed forces recruiting

    OPM, DoD, DoL, VA and DHS co-sponsored the 2011 Veterans Employment Symposium. USOPM Photo By: Timothy Grant 7/27/11.

    Washington, DC - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Departments of Defense, Labor, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security (DoD, DoL, VA, DHS) co-sponsored the 2011 Veterans Employment Symposium on July 27 and July 28 in Washington, DC. In support of President Obama's Veterans Employment Initiative, the Symposium provided a learning forum for federal hiring managers, veteran employment program managers and HR personnel to discuss strategies and issues affecting the federal employment of veterans.

    "America's veterans are valued, experienced and trained - exactly the kind of people we want to continue recruiting into the civil service. The 2011 Veterans Employment Symposium showcased practical ways to bring them and their unique talents into our federal agencies," said OPM Director John Berry. "President Obama's Veterans Employment Initiative, run by OPM and our agency partners, is helping tens of thousands of veterans and their families continue their legacy of service."

    300 people attended the Veterans Employment Symposium. Advertised as "Educate and Motivate," the event consisted of training and presentations, workshops and panel discussions on a wide variety of issues affecting the current state of veterans' employment in the federal government. Guest speakers included Seth Harris, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Charles Bolden, the Administrator of NASA, Major General Jon J. Miller, Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, Vice Admiral Kevin M. McCoy, Commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, and Sheila Casey, wife of General George Casey, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. These speakers offered top level points on the Veterans Employment Initiative and spoke about the success stories of their agencies in working toward this initiative's goals.

    "Veterans are peak performers in today's federal workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Veterans are a proven source of talent. They can provide an immediate bottom-line benefit because their skills have been shaped and tested under the most challenging circumstances."

    There were 16 exhibitors from the public and private sectors as well as academia that educated and informed the attendees on the Veterans Employment Initiative. A portion of the event focused on the private sector approach to employment of veterans and best practices regarding veteran related issues. Information was shared by Steve Robinson, Vice President for Veterans Affairs at Prudential, and individuals from J.P. Morgan Chase, Summit GSG, Futures Inc., CACI and the Partnership for Public Service.

    "VA is pleased to partner with OPM to host this Symposium. The goal of these efforts -- to increase the number of veterans employed by the federal government -- is not merely the obligation of a grateful Nation; it is good government and good business," said Assistant Secretary of VA, John Sepulveda. "At VA we are placing a renewed emphasis on the recruitment and retention of veterans by establishing a Veteran Employment Service Office, dedicated solely to this purpose.  This office will also help our veterans transition from their service and reintegrate them back into VA after deployment."

    "Our Nation's Armed Forces are the best in the world, and the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who serve or have served our country so honorably are unparalleled.  I cannot think of a better source of talent for the federal government civil service to tap into than those who have completed their military service and those who stand by them...the spouses and family caregivers," said Pat Tamburrino, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy. "DoD supports OPM's Veterans Employment Symposium as a valuable tool for HR professionals, agency senior leaders and hiring managers to collaborate and share best practices. We look forward to the shared dialogue as we work together to implement innovative strategies and programs which demonstrate our commitment to the employment of veterans. By maximizing our efforts through aggressive marketing and recruitment campaigns which result in building careers and access to critical employment information, we can ease the transition from military to civilian life."

    The federal government hired 34,788 total veterans in the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2011 (between October and March) compared to 32,825 in the first half of FY 2010; approximately 2,000 more veterans.  Additionally, veterans were 33.3 percent of total new hires across the federal government in the first half of FY 2011.  This is an increase of three percentage points from the same period in FY 2010.

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    OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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