Julie Chase

In our agency, DoD, DoN/MC, there is not going to be a Pathways. Yeah, it’s a great program. However, one must “read the FINE PRINT”. Pathways requires “funding” and the daddy DoN, is not willing to give Uncle Sams MIsguided Children one thin dime to fund this program, so we don’t have one. Yes, we are experiencing a huge retirement tsunami…however, hiring freeze kinda puts a damper on things. In our organization, we currently have 2 vacant billets…going into the 1st and 2nd year of vacancy.

In 2010, the President also had another wonderful program…the EO of July 2010 ..a great plan where the government would be the model for hiring persons with disabilities. Oh, yeah, what I call “bird cage liner”, because the words aren’t worth the paper they are typed upon. After much inquiry and investigation….the agencies must formulate a “plan” to hire, but they don’t necessarily have to hire. You see, there is “no funding” attached to the EO. It is up to the agency, organization level to make a conscience decision to do this. If the agency has set aside funding to hire persons with disabilities and/or Schedule A, they “may” do so.

Add to that, lest we forget, Vet pref hiring. That comes first above any college grad, don’t care if they have a college degree. Vet pref asks for “minimal qualifications”. I remember back in 2008 we had “summer hires”, (high school kids), STEPS, and SCEPs. Gone after August of 2008 and never returned. Why? I asked, foolishly. Answer: No funding to support the programs. You see the salaries out of these programs are connected to the organizations who hire them budgets. The question becomes would rather have some new technology, or pens and paper, or do you want to help a high school kid (in the summer) or a college kid, or a college kid getting ready to graduate a “leg up”? Yeah, thought so. And so that ends.

For the last 5 yrs. we have had bus loads of high school kids tour the base as part of the “shadowing” program in Feb. Where they were assigned an area of interest and they followed a supervisor and or workers throughout the day. Prior to this they were encouraged to apply for the “summer hires.” Well that is long gone.

For the last 5 yrs. we have had bus loads of VocRehab, people with disabilities, some are college grads also “shadow”, in Feb. and again in July. The college students and college graduated (alot of them are STEM qualified) to apply when the “NEW” Pathways Program comes out. (yeah, what a joke, it was like waiting for the Great Pumpkin). This past Feb. there were no volunteer organizations in the STEM (engineering) dept to mentor a student. Why? what’s the point, they can’t hire any of them. Our EEO office worked like a dog to get organizations to mentor on the shadowing day….especially in the STEM areas. None volunteered. I should mention that the engineering dept is suffering in the retiring tsunami.

For the past 5 yrs. or more, there hasn’t been any active recruiting on college campus’. What’s the point, the students know they will never make the cert due to vet pref hiring. It’s not a bad thing…millenials are smart….they will just move on to the private sector.

With all the heck and bother of USA Jobs, do these young people want to work in civil service? Probably not. All these “feel good” programs to get young folks into civil service is great. But truth be told….please read the “fine print”. The agencies have to have a “plan”, then the plan goes on the shelf and gets dusty.

It’s amazing that the gov can fund the most ridiculous projects that don’t amount to a row of pins…but yet can’t throw a few “benjamins” to agencies to programs to “hire” folks who are qualified and need the work.

The way the certs to the hiring officials go….are “disabled vets”, “vets”, PPP, military spouse, disabilities…..and joe/jane college student. I may have the order mixed up….but that is the way it is here. If the hiring official wants only 5 candidates to appear on the cert…..do you think the non vet college kid is going to make the cert? Nawww….didn’t think so.

The government needs to get real about hiring. Hiring managers hate the way it is now…because it takes forever. It takes forever because of the “programs” in place. A college kid may get in….but if a vet investigates and makes a stink, that kid is unemployed …out the door in a skinny minute….and HR has some “splanin'” to do.

I know that doesn’t happen in DC….because of all the networking. But on military installations, that is the order of day.