OPM wants a few good tech-savvy vets

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The federal government is targeting tech-savvy veterans of recent U.S. military service to help mitigate the expected wave of government employees' retirements, the Office of Personnel Management said.

OPM made a pitch to veterans about applying for civilian jobs in government during a one-hour Webcast July 12.

“The federal government is paying very close attention to the current crop of vet candidates,” said Jason Parman, Western Group manager at OPM’s Human Resources Consulting Program. “From a very practical standpoint, they come loaded with very good and deep technical qualifications. Today’s [military member] has to navigate and become an expert at a wealth of technology unseen and unheard of in previous times.… Those qualifications and competencies make them uniquely suited to come in and do well at a wide variety of federal positions.”

The government gives qualified veterans an advantage over other applicants when seeking federal employment through the veterans-preference process. That usually means adding five or 10 points to eligible veterans’ scores in the competitive examining process, depending on their qualifications, Parman said.

“OPM has a very special responsibility when it comes to our veterans and that is to ensure that all of our veterans have full access to federal civilian [agencies] when they leave the military service,” said Linda Springer, OPM's director. “That’s an obligation that’s been grounded in veterans-preference laws since the very beginning of the civilian service.”

The federal government is the largest employer of  veterans with more than 450,000 former service members, representing about 25 percent of the civilian workforce, Springer said.

“We need you to consider the civilian side of the federal government,” she said.

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