Muggles on Capitol Hill; Workforce change

Muggles on Capitol Hill

Guess who's a fan of Harry Potter? Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration. In fact, she even quoted a certain Hogwarts headmaster in recent testimony during a House Small Business Committee hearing on post-Katrina contracting. She touted the work that GSA has done and said she is dedicated to helping small businesses.

And then she said: 'I am not going to solve this problem without your help, and I would hope that today we could begin to work together to solve this problem. We must remove all barriers that prevent opportunities being offered to small, minority, woman-owned, HUBZone and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. I no longer have any illusions about how difficult it will be.

'But to quote the late, great Albus Dumbledore, 'We will soon face the choice of doing what is easy or doing what is right.''

The fictional headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is well-known to Potter fans.

Several versions of the quote are floating around the Web. According to one site, in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,' the fourth book in the series, Dumbledore makes the statement the way Doan quoted him.

Another site has it this way: 'Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.'

And the Internet Movie Database quotes Dumbledore in the movie version of the book as saying: 'No spell can reawaken the dead, Harry. I trust you know that. Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.'

Regardless, Doan captured the essence.

Workforce change

From the Get A Life! blog by Judy Welles:

The Office of Personnel Management recently posted some interesting federal employment statistics. Some of this information is well-known, but seeing the stats brings home the reality of changes in the government workforce.

The chart shows that the federal workforce is shrinking. Many employees are getting older and retiring. But there has also been a dramatic decrease in younger workers.

Between 1985 and 2006, the full-time permanent workforce shrank from 1.83 million to 1.63 million. During the same period, the average age of federal workers rose from 42 to 47.

The number of workers between 25 and 34 declined from 341,253 in 1985 to 184,329 by 2001. No explanation is given, but one can surmise that people left for other jobs ' perhaps better-paying ones ' while few followed behind to replace them.

There might be a little light at the end of this tunnel. With OPM's and other agencies' efforts to recruit and retain employees, the number of younger workers is starting to increase. This becomes apparent in 2002, and the chart shows the numbers. More incentives, such as flexible hours and flexible workplaces, will help. More appreciation of the role and impact of government service will help, too.



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