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News Release

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Contact: Brittney Manchester
Tel: 202-606-2402

Veterans Employment Council Discusses Strategy to Increase Employment and Retention of Veterans in Federal Government

New Benchmark for Veteran Hiring Among Federal Agencies Adopted

Washington, DC - Today, the President's Council on Veterans Employment, Co-Chaired by Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, and Vice-Chaired by U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director, Katherine Archuleta,  met to discuss the progress made in implementing Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government. Council discussion focused on increasing the employment and retention of veterans in the Federal government and the adoption of new benchmarks to track best practices and efforts by Federal agencies.

“President Obama created the Veterans Employment Initiative to ensure that we honor our sacred obligation to our Nation’s veterans,” said OPM Director and Council Vice-Chair Katherine Archuleta. “As the Federal government we must not only do all we can do help employ veterans when they return home, we must also serve as a model employer that acknowledges their talents, wisdom and energy. We are committed to creating an innovative recruitment and retention program that will be emulated in the public and private sectors. I am excited and honored to be taking on the role of Vice-Chair of this important Council and I am confident that, together, we will all do the work needed to achieve the objectives of this Council."

It has been more than four years since President Obama established the Veterans Employment Initiative and, in that time, the Executive Branch of Government hired the highest percentage of military veterans since 1974. The percentage of veteran new hires increased in FY 2013 - of the 162,839 new employees hired in FY 2013, 50,502 were veterans, equaling 31 percent of total new hires.

Pointing directly to this uptick in numbers was the strategic direction of the first Government-wide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan covering the period of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 through FY 2012. During the meeting, the Council approved a new Government-wide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan for FY 2014 through FY 2017, which continues to build upon the foundation established by the first Plan. In addition to advancing actions to improve employment opportunities for veterans, this Plan introduces an emphasis on the retention of veterans and focuses on the reintegration of our Federal colleagues who are deployable Reservists or National Guardsmen. The new Plan can be viewed on the Feds Hire Vets website.

Secretary of Labor and Council Co-chair Thomas E. Perez said, “I’m a firm believer that the best way to honor our veterans is to help them find jobs when they separate from the military services which is the service the department provides through our 2,500 American Job Centers. On April 23, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of the Veterans Employment Center, ( the first interagency, web-based tool to bring together a wealth of public and private job opportunities and career and training resources, all in one place.  We have much more to do. Veterans make our workforce and our government more productive and our economy more competitive. Veterans are ready to work and the government needs exactly what veterans have to offer.”

At today’s meeting, Council members adopted a new benchmark for veteran hiring among Federal agencies; The Veteran Employment Performance Model for FY 2015 through FY 2017. The initial Model, adopted by the Council in FY 2010, has been the mechanism used to stimulate veteran new hires at the agency level in support of the Veterans Employment Initiative. This new model establishes four elements that will allow for clear performance reviews by grouping agencies by size and creating a rating scheme based on interagency comparison to measure veteran employment performance.

“At VA, we know that Veterans make exceptional employees,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Veterans make up one third of our workforce - the courage, determination, initiative, perseverance, and leadership they demonstrated in uniform continue to define their performance today. With President Obama’s leadership, we will continue to connect Veterans with high-quality career opportunities in both the public and private sectors.”

The goal of the President's Veterans Employment Initiative is to help federal agencies identify qualified veterans, clarify the hiring process for veterans seeking employment with the Federal government, and help them adjust to the civilian work environment once they are hired. The President's Council on Veterans Employment is made up of 24 cabinet level and other independent agencies. The Council is Co-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki. The Vice-Chairman is OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.

For additional information please visit Feds Hire Vets.

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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