Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is coming up next week, but truthfully, the best time to thank public servants is all the time.
Government employees work long hours in demanding and diverse jobs that often go unnoticed. Nonetheless, they make the wheels of society go round – literally, as government is responsible for everything from road work to ensuring quality standards of manufacturing products.
Wednesday, GovLoop, partnering with Dell, hosted its “Food Trucks of Thanks” event, a tradition that offers free lunch to public servants to show appreciation for the work they do. And despite the cloudy, breezy weather, more than 600 government employees showed up across two locations to receive a warm meal and socialize with fellow members of the GovLoop community.
“The question I kept hearing was, ‘Why are you giving away lunch?'” Doug Mashkuri, Vice President & General Manager of GovLoop, said. “My response was simple. We are not giving away lunches, but honoring the hard and often thankless work that is done every day by the committed public sector workforce.”
Federal Triangle, directly in front of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), welcomed a large body of federal employees to take their choice of popular Washington, D.C. food trucks Peruvian Brothers and Cap Mac. Foggy Bottom similarly saw a rush of activity from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Pho Wheels and BBQ Bus offering food.
📍 PB # 1: Lockheed Martin, DC
📍 PB # 2: L’Enfant Plaza, DC
⏰ 11:00 AM-2:00 PM pic.twitter.com/ZBTSOiGmut
— Peruvian Brothers (@perubrothers) May 2, 2019
Enjoy the photos of “Food Trucks of Thanks” at the bottom of the page, and make sure to keep an eye out for future GovLoop events and trainings. Those can be accessed on this page.
“It was an awesome day spending time with our government community,” Mashkuri said. “While the lines got long at times, the conversations and relationships created were longer and entertaining.”
“Food Trucks of Thanks” not only served up free meals but also served to gather the GovLoop and government community. Therefore, we took the opportunity to listen to you.
In anticipation for PSRW, here are some of the most interesting elements of government service that we heard from those who came to the event.
- A Veterans Affairs Department (VA) employee said she had recently relocated to D.C. from Atlanta for the agency’s outreach efforts. VA recently has worked to rebuild its website and reach out to, in addition to receive, veterans in need of care. She said she informs veterans about what benefits they’re qualified for or changes to those benefits.
- A Commerce Department employee said she helps to monitor the quality of materials and products that flow into the United States. Oftentimes, she said, people don’t realize that the Commerce Department is responsible for ensuring that production elements that U.S. companies use meet federal standards and are safe for use. Two of the most commonly stopped goods? Wood and steel, she said.
- A Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) employee has been directly involved with the Centers of Excellence (CoE) initiatives that marry industry and government best practices within a variety of fields. HUD was the second agency to take part in the CoE project, and internal technology and citizen experience programs are undergoing transitions.
- An Agency for International Development (USAID) employee travels to Africa as part of her job. There, she has found energy to be very expensive and is happy that U.S. humanitarian programs have continued across administrations.
- An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee said that contrary to what some believe, procurement is a very social field. He said that he has to tell employees not to buy simple work tools, like printers, from a local office supply store to ensure they go through the correct federal process. Federal procurement is a painstakingly secure process to safeguard funds and ensure security.
Don’t fret if you missed the food trucks event. GovLoop offers free resources and trainings to employees year-round, and if you’re still upset on missing out on “Food Trucks of Thanks,” keep an eye out for part 2 on the way.