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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the President’s Council on Veterans Employment met to discuss Federal hiring and retention of veterans under the President’s Veterans Employment Initiative. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Beth Cobert, who serves as vice-chair, joined with co-chairs Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, and Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu, to host the eleventh meeting of the Council to highlight Government-wide progress and the future of the Veterans Employment Initiative.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the Executive Branch hired approximately 6,000 more veterans in FY 15 versus FY 14, for a veteran new hire percentage rate of approximately 32 percent. Veterans currently represent 30.9 percent of the workforce, as compared to 25.8 percent in FY 2009, prior to issuance of the President’s Executive Order.
In regards to retaining veterans, OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert said, “The issue of veteran retention has long been an area of focus for the Council. I want to congratulate council member agencies for their performance on veteran retention, as 79% of Council agencies were rated Effective or above in veteran retention for FY 2015.”
After opening remarks from the council chairs, members were reminded of the many accomplishments achieved by this Council since its inception. Council Executive Director Hakeem Basheerud-Deen stressed that the Council had created an infrastructure that values and advocates for veterans through their leadership commitment; the establishment of Veteran Employment Program Offices; launch of the Feds Hire Vets website; creation of the Vets to Feds Career Development Program; and advancing the Government-wide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, who also serves as co-chair of the council, added, “The impressive, collective efforts of this council are part of the larger responsibility our nation has to improve care and services for all Veterans, and as the President recently noted, our country has an obligation to ensure Veterans are able to navigate the labor market, succeed in the civilian workforce, and that employers know the value of hiring our Veterans.”
Discussing performance, Acting Director Cobert noted that FY 2015 was the first year in which the Council’s new performance measures went into effect. Agencies are now rated on their veteran employment performance using a new Veteran Employment Performance Model which rates agencies based on four veteran employment metrics: Veteran New Hires, Disabled Veteran New Hires, Veterans on-board, and Veteran Retention Rates. Cobert was pleased to announce that “67% of Council Agencies were rated Effective (E) or higher for FY 2015.”
Co-chair of the Council and Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu added, “The Labor Department is proud to partner with VA and OPM in leading the effort to help veterans continue their public service as federal employees. The character and skills possessed by veterans, honed through military service, are invaluable at DOL and other federal agencies. DOL is committed not just to recruiting and hiring veterans, but also to ensuring that they have advancement opportunities.”
In closing, Acting Director Cobert said, “With this being Public Service Recognition Week, I’m extremely proud to announce the successes of the President’s Veteran Employment Initiative, which has helped thousands of veterans find employment within the Federal Government. I want to take this opportunity to thank these employees for continuing to serve their country and the American people, even after they have hung up their military uniforms.”
For additional information, please visit www.FedsHireVets.gov.
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.