What do you think of OPM Pathways programs?
August 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm #137384
So the OPM Pathways regulations have just been released for comment – http://www.opm.gov/HiringReform/Pathways/.
The major pieces are:
-Revamped internship program (former SCEP/STEP)
-Revamped recent graduates program (former FCIP, Outstanding scholar)
What do you think?
August 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm #137458
Lots of it seems pretty similar to previous programs.
Some pieces that stand out to me:
- The Recent Graduates Program would be administered at the individual agency level.
(I’m curious how people define agency here – for example is this DHS or component like CBP)
- Agencies would provide OPM with information regarding their opportunities and post information publicly about how to apply for specific positions.
(So simple but this is REALLY key – I’ve never been able to find this list and I’ve asked everyone from career services directors to OPM to Partnership…thus I created a dataset on govloop to track – http://data.govloop.com/Government/Government-Hiring-Programs/m9jz-wxtp
Training and Development
- Orientation program for Recent Graduates hired for the program. (very cool – is this by agency or for all recent grads)
- Mentorship throughout the program. (very cool – wonder how they’ll do this…what qualifies as mentoring)
- Individual Development Plan to create and track Recent Graduates’ career planning, professional development, and training activities.
- At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program. (awesome – although I think 40 hours isn’t enough. I’d go 80 hours)
Some remaining questions:
-Where is the funding for these pathways programs? Or recommended funding? Should it be centrally funded by say HHS CHCO? Distributed across agency. I think this is a key issue to track – how is this funded?
-Staffing for pathways programs – Successful PMF programs have full-time and passionate PMF coordinators. However, many agencies have PMF coordinators that are only part-time so can’t devote time necessary to its success. Others have been assigned the work and it’s not something they are passionate about. I think it is essential that agencies have full-time pathways coordinators that live/breathe this stuff so they are advocates and passionate to graduates success. It takes time to coordinate with recent graduates, help with IDP and training, track the statistics, report to OPM, and that doesn’t even include time to just be advocates of these folks inside the agency.
-Do we have goals of #s of hires w/ recent grads? For example some agencies have goals for % of veteran hires? I think it may be worthwhile to have goal % of how many hired in recent grads. Without it I fear some agencies will use it a ton and some won’t use it very much. Need some incentives or targets on using it.
- The Recent Graduates Program would be administered at the individual agency level.
August 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm #137456
Some other items on the PMF revamp:
- Senior-level mentorship throughout the program. (this is clutch – maybe there is some coordination with FEBs or Senior Exec Association or official w/ SES in the agency where PMF is placed)
- Individual Development Plan to create and track a PMF’s career planning, professional development, and training activities. (makes sense)
- Developmental opportunities in the occupation or functional discipline the PMF would most likely be placed. (if this is done right, this is really huge. For example, would be great for all PMFs in acquisition be connected to each other and seen as this SWAT team of acquisition innovation. Then CAO council could tap in and train and even more than that we should track these folks as these are potential future leaders in their discipline.)
- At least 80 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program, for a total of 160 hours. (I like 80 hours – why is this 80 hours though when recent grads is only 40. Both should be 80)
- PMFs are placed on a performance plan and must obtain a successful rating each year. (makes sense)
August 5, 2011 at 2:04 am #137454
August 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm #137452
I agree with your assessment. As a previous PMF coordinator, I was a big supporter of this program to bring in exceptional talen to the agency. I’m afraid that with the coming budget cuts and hiring freezes, this is not a good time for the new Pathways program. All of this is good, but agencies often hire these bright young minds, only to disappoint them by restricting their access to top management, limiting rotational assignments, and only providing the minimum training.
Hate to be the Debbie Downer, but merely planting the seed (hiring) does not ensure a flourishing plant. You need lots of water and fertilizer, which are in short supply.
August 8, 2011 at 12:10 am #137450
It’s good to see that there is at lease some language about access to top management (SES language) and mentor programs.
But agree with you – it’s not just bringing talent in, it’s spending time/energy/resources (the water/fertilizer) once in.
Other item I’ve seen is that I think agencies really need to market their programs internally. And not just to HR but to the hiring managers. Many hiring managers will have never heard of Pathways and agencies need to get in front of those folks and sell the benefits
August 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm #137448
I’m rethinking performance plans. God knows I love them as a Director of Strategic Planning. However, Ken Miller’s book “Extreme Government Makeover” is making me re-evaluate my view of performance plans. I’ve seen a practice used in both the public and private sector that makes the individual set their goals, then evaluate their own performance on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. I’m using this approach with YGL National right now. I asked everyone to develop their own project charter that aligned with National’s Strategic Plan. This way they set their own goals. I think this builds personal capacity and desire to be more accountable. We’ve done one review thus far. It seems to be working. It is not fullly implemented yet, but I truly believe the key to improving efficiency and capacity starts in the heart of the people doing the work. If they set their own goals and are personally aware of their performance it is more likely to create greater accountability as well.
August 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm #137446
Applause for allowing up to 2 years post graduation from a graduate program to enter the new program. The prior requirements for being in the final year of graduate study to apply to PMF was restrictive. You only had one chance.
August 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm #137444
Candice, as a performance expert I believe you are right on. You want your employees to set their own goals, appraise their own performance, and write up their own rewards. 1. Statistically there are harder on themselves than their supervisors would be. 2. Employees know whether a task takes 2 days or 20 3. It achieves buy in. 4. It encourages engagement. It also takes work off the supervisor’s $100,000 desk and puts in on the $75,0000 desk of the employee eliminating constrictions. I only see wins with your program.
Steve, I agree. Those organizations that invest 120 hours of training in new employees and 60 hours in current employees have the highest return on investment. At least this is a move in the right direction.
I don’t know why there has to be a 2 years from graduation cut off to apply for this program. What is your previous employment was private or military? Or are we prejudiced toward the young?
August 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm #137442
Really surprised that no one has mentioned the David Dean group who plans on squashing this program even before it gets off the ground. Just thought I would throw in a “reality check”, that in addition to coming with this program during a hiring freeze, not to mention a wage freeze, the vets are grouped and ready for a fight.
My son is a recent graduate and has two degrees. However, after contacting the Pathways program coordinator at the top, the program is in no way ready. At each agency there is supposed to be a Pathways coordinator, well at our installation there isn’t and there won’t be due to the hiring freeze….of which there are two politicians who want to keep it going for another 2 yrs. Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children are in for the long haul. Our paternal guardian DoN is hiring right on without a care in the world. However, there isn’t a Pathways Coordinator named at the tenant command. Also in reading the particulars it is always up to the agency (in our case HQ) if they want to participate in the program. EO’s are not a done deal unless there is funding to back it up. I am checking into that as well. EO’s are nice, make people smile, but if there is no funding and the agencies get to choose if they want it, it’s just nice words on paper.
This is going to be a “a wait and see”. How are coordinators going to be “hired” and it justified? Will young college grads knowing about the hiring freezes and the pay freezes sign on to this? Let’s not forget about the student loan debt they carry. I couldn’t find any military installation that has the student work, pay back student loan program. But DoD is always the elephant in the room.
August 9, 2011 at 3:04 am #137440
I agree that tracking funding creating goals will be important, but how much of it requires new funding? Aren’t mentoring and rotation programs largely free? Why/how do the barriers between levels go up?
Good to know about your existing list of hiring programs. That is something to share:
August 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm #137438
Julie Chase is quite correct. The Pathways program as it is intended in detrimental to veterans. Not only is Pathways detrimental, the intent and purpose is to evade hiring veterans. The Pathways program discriminates against veterans and discrimninates based on age. It is also a Prohibited Personnel Practice (PPP) on its face. All of you have made plans to cash in on the program. All of you have totally ignored me. I are still here, I and others are going to respond to the Federal Register announcement and I am going to take it back to MSPB and the CAFC if necessary.
The original case Dean v. OPM is still pending, it has not been decided as of yet. Next year is a presidental election year. Of its many trials and tribulations is is doubtful the Obama administration wishes to be anti-veteran, vet bashers. For the record the socalled veterans service organizations do not represent veterans, they are totally useless. I am are not in league with the unions.
Julie, I am the David Dean group. This has a long way to go.
August 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm #137436
As a leadership developer with 27 years experience, my research shows that emotionally health and intelligent people are those that work in the best interest of their organization. Because only 1/3 of humans are emotionally health and intelligent, it is probable that we will select emotionally unhealthy people for these programs unless we screen them out. For this reason it seems to me that we should first screen for emotional intelligence and health before screening for intelligence in these programs. Thank you for soliciting our opinion!
August 12, 2011 at 9:05 pm #137434
Carol, forgive me, but I didn’t understand a word you wrote.
David Dean. Look, the gov is looking for “new blood” and this program is going to give vets an opportunity to not only get the post high school education they have always dreamed of, it is also going grant them a longer period of time to get into the program, vs. the 2 yrs. it is giving the non vet college grad. At our installation a BS degree will get you a GS5 in the door. Yes, DC, there are lower wages outside the beltway & in this economy there is no room for haggling on wages. David, You certainly can’t expect someone who doesn’t have an engineering degree and cert in engineering to be hired just because they are a vet. Be reasonable. You have to look at the bigger picture.
GovLoop…I have asked the same questions. No one in the DoN southeastern region can answer. DoN is huge and Uncle Sams Undisciplined Children are on DoN coat tails for some things. I would think it would be broken down in some type of component. As for the list….remember, it’s up to the agency to participate and throw some $$ in the pot. It is the same with Schedule A hiring ( hiring people with disabilities). There is an EO (last July I believe) on that too, but what you don’t know, there is no funding attached and agencies need to buy $$ in. At some installations the Special Placement Coordinator is a collateral duty of the local EEO coordinator. Each agency has to submit a plan, set aside funding and go from there. With heat on all that is DoD, I doubt these programs will be well received.
August 13, 2011 at 1:05 am #137432
I look at one picture: Have veteran preference laws been followed? No more no less. If in my opinion veterans preference have been evaded I will file an MSPB appeal. That is the way to resolve the issue. I did not set out to be “reasonable” I set out to insure veterans preference laws are followed. The MSPB and CAFC will be the final decision maker. This journey has just began. The “Pathways Officers” will make it more simple. File a MSPB appeal againist the “Pathways Officer” and let the appeal take its course. Follow the federal statutes concerning veteran’s preference or abolish veterans pfreference.
August 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm #137430
David – Do you have any suggestion of how to incorporate veterans preference within Pathways?
I’ve been critical myself of OPM programs in the past but honestly it’s easier to complain than come up with solution.
To me, it’s a pretty simple but difficult problem:
-60% of federal employees will be eligible to retire in next 5 years
-We need to prepare for this retirement by hiring next generation of government workers
-Recent graduates and especially the top students (you can measure by GPA, student leadership, etc) simply aren’t applying for government jobs because the process is way too cumbersome
-We want to honor labor laws (veterans preference, military spouse preference, disability preference, previous employment of 3+ years as fed)
I think the great point right now with regulations.gov is we all have a chance to give feedback.
Do you have any suggestions on how to solve this problem? I think you have a lot great insight based on your experience.
To me, I would much rather see comments be provided now in regulations process and incorporated to make a better policy
August 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm #137428
Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256 (1979). The decision was 7-2, the decision was written by Justice Potter Stewart states , in part, “The purposes of the [veterans preference] statute provide the surest explaination of its impact. Just as there are cases in which impact alone can unmask an invidious classification, cf. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, there are others in which-notwithstanding impact-the legitmate noninvidious purposes of a law cannot be missed. This is one. The distinction made by ch.31, section 23, is, as it seems to be, quite simply between veterans and nonveterans, not between men and women. (Writer’s Note: This case and decision resulted from Helen B. Feeney, a non-veteran, suing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under USC(A) Title 42, Chapter 21, Section 1983 (Civil Rights Act of 1871, commonly referred to as a Section 1983 Action) alleging that Massachusetts’ veteran preference law was unconstitional because it discriminated against women like herself (non-veteran). This is still valid case law. The issue remains between veterans and non-veterans.
The problem is simple but not difficult, and there is nothing to solve. Veterans preference is bestowed by Title 38, Title 5, VEOA, VRA, USERRA and other federal statutes. Veterans preference laws are not “labor laws.” Veteran preference laws do not have any connection or relationship to military spouse preference (active duty military), disability preference, or three years employment as a fed. Quite the contrary federal hiring of veterans is only one of the many functions of veterans preference laws. To answer regarding incorporating veterans preference into so called “Pathways.” No way. First federal statutes must be recinded, and case law must be reversed by the USSC. How the other items you listed are handled vis-a-vis so called “Pathways” is of absolutely no concern to me. I have no opinion, or interest, as to how military spouse preference, disability preference, or tenure by federal employees is handled. Spousal preference only applies to the spouse of active duty military only. Veterans preference does not attach to a Uniformed Service member until the member is no longer on active duty.
If students are too dumb or lazy to apply for federal jobs in all probability they will not be good employees.
August 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm #137426
David – I’m pretty sure this is one where we disagree but I love having a rational debate with facts and you know them well clearly. So would love to hear your take on my thoughts below.
A little more on how I see it as co-founder of Young Government Leaders and having worked with really passionate future government leaders and hearing their issues.
Here’s the simple situation and from my own experience.
As I was graduating with my Master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania, I wanted to work for federal government – I even had a government scholarship. On campus, there were recruiters every day from places like McKinsey, GE, Deloitte – trying to recruit me to work for the government. The few gov’t recruiters who came just told me to apply on usajobs.gov.
Really simply – I applied for 40+ jobs, each took 2-3 hours to apply for, it took 4-6 months for each job to answer, while private sector jobs paid about 50% better, took a lot less time to apply, and they offered jobs on the spot after interviewing.
While I persevered and ended up working for gov’t, all of my friends said it was simply too much work and went to the private sector. And by any normal measure they aren’t dumb – SAT scores, grades, leadership experience, etc.
Simple quotes from MPP directors show this:
Maryland Public Policy director stated – In all my years as career service, I’ve only had 1 student who successfully navigating USAJOBS
Harvard Kennedy School – I’ve never had a student get a job through USAJOBS
Michigan – Only one student in the last 5 years has been hired through USAJOBS
Same was true with teaching. The process was too confusing and too layered with bureaucracy. Teach for America offered an additional ways for entry-level teachers. It didn’t replace the traditional mechanism of hiring but adding another way.
That’s what I hope Pathways does as well.
To me it’s really simple, without Pathways programs, it is really obvious that we aren’t going to get any top talent out of undergraduate and graduate universities. And we really need it.
The question for leadership is do we care or not about that (and maybe the answer is gov’t isn’t supposed to recruit best/brightest out of university). And how do we incorporate veterans preference while doing it (there’s a lot of great veterans who are currently back in school and would be great candidates)
What would you do if you were in charge with solving the problem?
Would you recommend just leaving as is – no entry-level fellowship programs and all through USAJOBS as is….
Once again, the great part in the U.S. government process is that we do have a feedback process with regulations.gov now and the gov’t is listening to our feedback.
August 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm #137424
When I graduated from high school I wanted to work for the federal government, specifically Army of the United States, Military Police Corps. My dream came true. I put in two tours in Vietnam, MEDVACed to Walter Reed for five months. It was just as sorry then as it has been lately. I retired, filed about 300 job applications (I worked for the State during this time) was finally hired as an Army Career Intern (GS-5 to 11) and specialized in Labor Relations. As you may have observed I received some good training. Before I retired as a DAC (Damn Army Civilian) I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), IRS, and the Air Force. I have two Masters Degrees, I am currently a fulltime PHD candidate going to school on a DVA Chapter 31, Voactional Rehabilitation grant. I am an Adjunct at a state college and teach four days a week.
My Grandson was a combat veteran at 18 (20 now) years of age, he is currently processing to go back to the “sandbox.” He is Airborne Infantry. He will finish college when he returns. He then will be commissioned an Officer in the Army of the United States. Do you think that I have any empathy for some putz in college that is either too dumb or too lazy to file a federal job announcemet? You ask a question (are we going to get any top talent out of under graduate or graduate university?) you answered your question when you point out it is too much of a bother to apply.
You have listed college placement employees at Maryland and Harvard. (I graduate from the University of Maryland.) These people are biased. Their paycheck is predicated upon whether they place the little darlings or not. What good is a college (public)placement employee if the employee cannot “place.”
You clearly demonstrate your bias against veterans when you complain the federal goverment “aren’t going to get top talent” unless the competitive hiring procedure is prostituted [implied] (and in the process violate numerous federal statutes) and make the process totally dumbed down and student friendly. You are implying veterans cannot be “top talent.” Their SAT scores, and grades (how can a student have had “leadership training?” means absolute nothing. Ever heard of educated idiots.
Your question, “What would you do if you were in charge of solving the problem?” Those things that I am “incharge of” do not extend past my nose. The problem will be solved when federal hiring managers cease and desist looking for inovative ways to bypass hiring veterans. I am glad to call their attention to the issue. These issues will be decided in the MSPB and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). It could very well go to the US Supreme Court.
I am amused and amazed that all of you cried “FCIP is dead, Long live FCIP” and assumed things would continue as usual, no change and we will continue business as usual. Do you really expect FCIP on steroids to be implemented without a public brawl? Do you realize no one from OPM has ever talked to me? Do you really expect business as usual?
Three actions are still pending in MSPB concerning this issue. It ain’t going away soon. Saul Alinsky is a great guy I love him. I have no problem discussing the issue with you. Remember I am not politically correct, and do not care if I offend someone’s delicate feeling. If the hot grease bothers someone they should stay out of the kitchen.
August 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm #137422
David, I see you are passionate about “fairness” and working with “what should be the rule”. My husband reminds me that CS was started “for veterans”, and is something that has been forgotten. I have read many of your posts on the other gov sites, Govexec, Federal Times, FedSmith and Fed Soup. The debates on this are much fiercer than here on GovLoop. With that stated, I do believe that Steve wants a discussion towards a beneficial “solution”. Is there “all or nothing” or are there other things missing?
When a job announcement comes out on USA Jobs for a chemist, a mathemician or an engineer (pick the discipline)……the description is very “specific” in asking for those applicants to possess a degree from a post secondary “accredited” college or university. Do you really believe that veterans applying without these degrees should be hired over a non vet with one? I would think not, as it would be a miserable workplace both on the division and especially on the vet.
I do believe the hiring process, aka USA Jobs is only for the patient. When my son was a STEP several years ago, he met other students who stated that they would be “outta here” after the summer and never darken the US gov door again. Why? because they could better pay, benefits and the hiring process is quick and efficeint in the private sector. That is a pox on the government for sure. Programs such as STEP, SCEP, FCIP were never intended as work arounds to hiring vets. A vet could get into the program just as easily as the non vet, by going to college and persuing a degree.
I would like to ask you, “What is it that makes you think that hiring managers don’t want to hire vets?” Why wouldn’t they hire a vet in any of these programs? Why aren’t vets in college, whether or not they served 4, 10, or career in the military? At the installation where my husband works the co-op is filled with vets who are working beside him as a co-op, getting paid and going to school the other half of the time. It’s not a GS job or office type job. The co-ops come in as WG5’s and once they graduate they are WG8’s and eligible for the career journeyman program.
I guess I am trying to figure out why a hiring official would choose a non-vet, say age <fill in the blank) yr old going to college applying for the program over a <fill in the blank> yr old vet going to college applying for the program?
August 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm #137420
David – Love the dialogue. And your breadth of experience both serving in military, with DOD and other civilian agencies, 2 masters – puts you in a great position to debate the issues. What’s your PhD in? I’m a social scientist myself so just guessing I think you’d make a great sociologist, psychologist, etc…
How was the Army Career Intern Program setup that you went through? Is there a way to leverage that structure – it seems like it may have met the goals of veterans preference and a successful intern program.
To me, I think you can incorporate veterans preference into these programs. To me, it’s pretty simple – say you are hiring for recent grads and you are CDC. You can still do a recent grads program and reach out to schools and include veterans preference. For a job in say epidemiology, with veterans preference, a veteran with a Masters in Public Health should and will still get the job over a non-veteran with a Masters in Public Health with roughly equal qualifications.
Or perhaps I’m missing something – what would be the downside to that approach in your mind?
August 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm #137418
I can be civil or I can be Sweet Ole Bubba. I do not care either way. I do not work with “what should be the rule.” I work with what is the case law, regulations, and statutes concerning veterans preference. The intent and use of STEP, SCEP, FCIP and the so called Outstanding Scholar Program were instituted for no other purpose that to evade veterans hire. At least the US Supreme Court, MSPB, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have so held. I prefer to rely on their collective decisions and judgement rather that yours. I have won two major cases pro se. What I work with is very cut and dried.
Let us briefly discuss “fairness.” “Fairness” means different things to different people, it is the eye of the beholder, it is transitory, and has no real meaning. I do not deal in “fairness.” Because “fairness” does not have an actual meaning or value I have never given it any thought, and do not intend to start now. Fairness is what liberals bleat about when they lose. I deal in what the statutes, regulations, MSPB, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit say. I deal in federal personnel adminstrative matters. I represent myself (and other) in MSPB appeals, that is permissible . I have never filed a ‘law suit.” I do not have the faintest inking of how to proceed in a “lawsuit.” I am recognized as a subject matter expert on federal personnel matters. I suffered through a three years internship, and actually did the job at the journeyman level for seven years.
You have made two totally absurd assumptions; 1) that I advocate hiring doctors, chemist, lawyers, and other professionals that do not have an appropriate degree in the field, get real; 2) “what makes you think that hiring managers do not want to hire veterans?” Read the following MSPB decisions Dean v. Dept of Agriculture, Dean v. OPM, Augustine v. Department of Veterans Affairs, Evans v. Department of Veterans Affairs, Isabella v. Department of State, Weed v. Department of Veterans Affairs, Kirkendall v. Department of Army, Gingery v. Department of the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs to name a few. Why do you think we have had to drag these hiring officials “kicking and screaming by the scruff of the neck into the dock?”
You appear to be obessed with “college.” There is three methods by which you can qualify for federal jobs; education, exprience/training, or a combination thereof. Most federal jobs do not require a degree. Veterans without a professional end degree are not qualified for the jobs, stated above, and will not be considered. Again get real.
Of interesting note, based upon your postings, you have attempted to “pull some strings” to get your son an internship. So much for your objectivity.
Here is my “beneficial solution” follow the statutes, regulatory guidance, and case law concerning veterans preference. If a hiring official does not follow the statutes, regulatory guidance, and case law concerning veterans preference, the offender will have an opportunity to explain in a public setting as to why he/she did not.
When are in the presidental election cycle. Does the Obama administration want to add “vet bashing” to its many woes? As of today there is approximately 23,500,000 living veterans in the United States. Fifteen point five million (15,500,000) are white males. Approximately 14,500,000 voted is 2010. We play hell with diversity (what ever that is) and affirmative action. (US Government Census)
All federal agencies are required by statute and OPM regulations to have an up to date Disabled Veteran Affirmative Action Plan (DVAAP). Most do have the plan. It is not followed. Disabled veterans are the only indentiifiable cohort for which an individual affirmative action plan is required.
I do not do others research. If you do not agree with me do your own research.
August 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm #137416
Please excuse my ignorance, as I had no idea this was so prolific throughout the government. Ok, I get it now, …I read alot about you and your cause and I would like to separate fact from fiction. I was misinformed about your group and the college degree thing. I have read many message boards with vets stating they could “learn” engineering on the job. I was misinformed, that is not you.
My husband, a vet and I have been talking about this alot this afternoon. He said, think about it…”who are the hiring officials” are they vets? No, most are not. He went on to say in the case of a RIF, they would go and vet would stay and they avoid hiring vets for that reason, especially since all the BRACS were going on in the 80’s and 90’s. I would say that is my husband’s opinion, but he says he has seen it happen.
As for my son and “pulling strings”, I am lowly clerk with no pull and no influence, as I am not from this area and came in due to a BRAC. (there was alot of resentment among the locals). My son applied along with 45 other college students and served 3 summers in STEP. He has graduated from college and if Pathways ever gets off the ground, he will apply for the program. He only has 2 yrs., whereas the vets have 6 yrs. Vets also have their college paid for and some have a check coming in the mail every month. My son has a degree, student loan debt and no job. The vets have a leg up, as it should be. My objectivity was not in question. In the organization where I work 3/4 of the employees are 10 and 5 pt vets. I have no dog in this hunt. I just want to hear it from you. After speaking with my husband on this, I can clearly understand your point of view.
But why lay to waste a program that is beneficial to vets as well? I know your beef is with the hiring officials and my husband explained some of their motives.
August 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm #137414
I am the Dean group. I do not have any backers, I do not have any helpers, I do not have any assistants, I furnish all costs from my personal funds. I do my own reserach and writing. I represent me before MSPB and other veterans as well.
The so called “Pathways Program” is the antithesis of help for veterans. If you son wants the same benefits his Dad has, I have and my Grandson has the military is waiting. He will go to Basic Training (9 weeks), then to Officer Candidate School (OCS) for eight weeks and he will be an officer. Veterans have a leg up because we have earned the benefit. At some point in time each and ever veteran gave the government a blank check on his/her life. If the check is not cashed we get the benefits. If the check is cashed the next of kin get the insurance. Simplicity.
You son has ever right to apply. I have ever right to oppose his appointment. I have ever right to attempt to block him (and I will) if in my opinion he blocks a veteran. This is in the genertic. I will never meet you son.
I do not bargain, negotiate, compromise, quibble or back down. With me it is all or nothing. If I come in in second place I am still a looser. I set out ten years ago to force federal hiring officials to either follow the law on veterans hire, or force the MSPB and the CAFC to close it down.
Any fool that states he/she can learn engineering, medicine, law, accounting or or similar disciplines on the job is a fool. Gimme me a break. I do not post on Fed Soup because the same idiot talks to itself three and four ways.
Tell you husband thanks for me.
August 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm #137412
Hey David – I have to commend you – it must be a ton of work and it’s quite impressive all your research and analysis –
The reason I created GovLoop is to create a knowledge network for government. A way to solve problems. There are plenty of sites out there we people complain about issues and as moderator of this community, we aren’t one of those places.
I’m all about solving the problems to make government better.
Call me a public servant nerd but that’s what I’m into – how to create an effective and efficient government.
That’s what I’m into – in same way your focus is on veterans hire.
At this point doesn’t seem worth debating as I still am back to my original point:
How would you improve the Pathways program?
With regulations.gov, OPM and federal government are looking for suggestions on how to improve the program. It’s the mandated public feedback process. It’s OPM asking you what to do as you mentioned before.
This is your time to give them feedback about what’s right and what’s wrong with the program so they can fix it.
Personally I’m giving feedback now via regulations.gov as I’d rather them fix the program right now than criticizing or taking down the program after its set-up.
For example, a couple solutions could be:
-All Pathways opportunities are posted on USAJOBS so all have equal opportunity to apply
-All Pathways opportunities should spend extra time promoting to veterans groups (from IAVA to student military groups, etc)
-In calculating pathways opportunities, hiring officials must still consider veterans preference as it applies according to law.
Any specific recommendations?
August 15, 2011 at 12:14 am #137410
I am the Po’lice (po-est man in town and the least thought of). I am the first one they look for and the last one they want to see, when they need me I cannot get there fast enough, when they do not need me I am harassing them. I am a dedicated public servant, I provide a public service whether they want the service or not.
Undergrad U of Maryland sociological with a minor in psychology, Masters in Criminal Justice, Masters in Counselor Education. When I retired from the Army I had five years of GI bill at three quarters time. During my internship I went to college for some courses on the government’s dime. I am completing the course work for a PHD in Public Leadership with a discipline in Criminal Justice.
The Army Career Intern Program was set up so as managers could pick friends, relatives, and friends and relatives of friends and relatives. It was just as corrupt as the so called OSCP and the FCIP. The fact that I was a 30% or more 10 points compensable veteran was used by the Civilian Personnel Officer (CPO) to evade putting the Commanding Generals secretary into the internship. Bless her heart she was hell on wheels. The CPO lied to the CG and told him that he had to hire me because I was a diabled veteran.
Read Dean v. OPM. My position was because of the way the FCIP was configured and administered it was impossible for me to apply for FCIP jobs. It was impossible for anyone to actually know when the jobs were posted if there was not a public announcement.
The matter is till pending at MSPB, I filed a perition for enforcement (still pending), and Evans has filed and action. OPM is attempting to get the Board to overturn its decision. Once the Board makes a decision if I do not like the decision I will appeal it to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
If a veteran is not qualified for a job I am not going to waste time on a pointless battle. Why would I? A veteran has to make a minimally qualified score to have 5 or 10 points added. In the rule of three the selecting official cannot pass over a veteran and hire a non-veteran. In category ranking 30 percenters compensable go into the top category. For all practical purposes they cannot not be passed over unless goes to OPM for a rulionhg on fitness. OPM is rarely going to grant permission to pass over a 30 percenter. It so rarely happens it is unusual
Veterans preference is a stand alone program by statute. I am totally against “combining” it with any program. The issue is not the veterans in college. The issue is if the veteran is not in college the veteran will not be considered. That is FCIP redux on steroids. The participants will be selected without public notice in secrecy. There will not be any transparency. Most federal jobs do not require a college degree nor is a college degree needed.
It is very apparent that all of those that benefited from the FCIP thought the abolishment was a bump in the road. They expected things to continue as usual. One college placement employee on this website said that as soon as Pathways was in place she wanted to “droves” of college students hired. What planet is she on?
Abolishment of the FCIP has caused the federal law enforcement agencies to hire many more veterans. Prior to Dean v. OPM they did not award veteran peference.
The genie is out of the bottle, the tooth paste is out of the tube, the horse is out of the barn. The times they are achanging. “I have climbed the mountain, I have see the other side.” MLK. Federal hire will never be the same.
The lady in my life holds that I am the Tea Party of federal hiring. She also hold that if a black car, with occupants in black sunglasses on drives into the drive way she is going into the woods until I get home. Oh well, she is an artist with a vidid imagination.
August 15, 2011 at 12:22 am #137408
I will gladly give OPM and hiring officials feed back in the MSPB or CAFC. I am looking forward to it. I intend to address the Federal Register notification. It will not accomplish anything, but later on I will be able to prove I brought the matter up. An old friend (Retired Military Judge) states a verbal statement is worth the paper it is written on, and paper is forever.
If is very seldom I explain anything to anyone. I am sure many others read this website. See, I have an agenda. Cheers!
August 15, 2011 at 12:23 am #137406
How to improve the “Pathways Program.” Do away with it.
August 15, 2011 at 12:53 am #137404
Glad you are giving feedback via Federal Register.
Appreciate your feedback and explanation. Good luck on your PhD in Public Leadership.
Too bad your Army Career Internship Program was so bad. Honestly, I think that may have colored your opinion. As someone who has seen a bunch of fellowship programs, I’ve never seen one operate the way you described and have seen lots of good come out of them.
If someone hasn’t already, I think someone should have given you a tour of the various fellowship programs so you can see them for yourself.
Maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me but it bugs me that it has to be all or nothing.
I kind of feel like the politicians on the debt ceiling where I just want a compromise – seems like way to do a Pathways style program while honoring your objections and honoring veterans preference.
August 15, 2011 at 10:30 am #137402
I have enjoyed our conversation. It is refreshing to discuss veteran preference without the vitriolic of the usual vet bashers. On other websites I am just Sweet Ole Bubba. Of course I give as good as I get.
We have to agree to disagree on federal internship programs. From my view point all are corrupt in that evading veterans hire is the purpose stated or unstated. The so called OSP and FCIP comes to mind.
I totally agree with the position of the five Representatives from South Carolina. It is time to take a principled stand on the national debt. I disagree with your compromise position. I have no problem with shuting down something to change it.
I am going to respond to the Federal Register entry concerning “Pathways.” It is a totally usless gesture insofar as influencing the OPM outcome. I will need to prove later on that I responded on the front end.
We disagree on the all or nothing. I call it principle. Cheers!
August 16, 2011 at 11:00 pm #137398
The intent and purpose of the so called “Pathways Program” is to do just that, leave the application of veteran prefrence as vague as possible. There is no intention on behalf of OPM and those 501(c) (3)s and other hangerons that feed off the federal hiring process to apply veterans preference. Many of the hangerons, such as college placement employees and non-profits that feed off the programs, were shocked that FCIP was abolished. Their response was “let us get another program in place to evade the horrible veterans preference as soon as possible.”
They have attempted to proceed with a program to evade veterans preference, and are outraged that stumbling blocks are in the way of smooth sailing to evade hiring veterans. It has outraged them that any actions to evade hiring veterans will be fought in a public forum. This is not going away. I have no intention of compromising. It is all or nothing. Berry and his merry fellows have had lengthy discussions with college placement officials and the nonprofits that profit from evading veterans preference. This are not the people that will keep this issue in the MSPB and the CAFC.
When this is over the illegal influence of college placement employees and nonprofits will be investigated. There is a cancer on the federal hiring process, and that cancer is the deliberate actions of federal hiring officials in collusion with non-federal individuals to evade hiring veterans.
The vet bashers are in for a lengthy and public process.
August 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm #137396
Hi all; I’m new to the discussion but not new to the issue. This is a difficult problem in these most difficult times to find a way that will protect and support Vet’s rights that have so clearly been well earned and do our best to ensure that in these difficult times those who served do not return to unemployment and an inability to support their families.
To balance this with a national philosophy to recruit a new generation of highly skilled and highly educated Federal career employees and to encourage higher education at a time when a graduate degree is surpassing home ownershoip as the largest single investment we make in our lifetime.
There is no doubt that these are both worthy causes and you all make great comments that attribute to the perception that these issues are in conflict with each other because we have been a nation at war for almost 10 years now and have many more Vets then ever before combined with the worst economic downturn since the great depression which leaves too many vets and non-vets out of work.
However, I would argue that they are not actually in conflict at all. The Pathways Program as described by OPM’s proposed regulations clearly supports both of these requirements. The regulations clearly states that Vet’s Preference must be used to rank applicants for these positions. Therefore, applicants must meet the program eligibility requirements which encourages hiring of those in school as well as recent graduates and applying Vets preference assures that Vets (who are otherwise eligible for the program) who apply are given preference as is required under the law.
As an HR Specialist, it has become very clear to me that most agencies have been abuising the student hiring authority by using it as an easy way to give jobs to people they know and want to hire. The trend is to wait until you have a student who is looking for a job and you want to hire them so a job is created for them. This is the antithesis of the program design. Agencies are supposed to identify postions they need to fill and then find a well qualified person to fill it.
The Pathways Program as described in the new OPM proposed regulations seems to be pretty clear that the Agency must identify the position first (preventing pre-selection), notify OPM who will post it for the public (although it is not specified in the regulations this should be on USAJOBS just as all other openings are posted – I am sure the original regulations also do not specify USAJOBS as the method of posting other vacancies) and thereby accept applications from eligibles. From an HR Specialist perspective this seems pretty clear. When an opening occurs the hiring manager now will have 3 choices for announcements (Delegated Examining, Merit Promotion, and Pathways) seperate certificates will be issued and a selection can be made from any one of them.
My only suggestion to OPM will be to provide more detailed information in the regulations explaining the rating process as it is used under the ‘alternate rating method’ (Category Rating system) since the old rule of three and the Vet preference regulations cited in the current proposal refers to the old system of adding points to scores.
August 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm #137394
I do not see a problem. Veteran preference is encoded in federal statute. Obey the law or change the law. Very simple. If the so called “Pathways” announcements are not posted on USAJOBS we will have to discuss it with MSPB and the CAFC. This will not drag on for ten years (FCIP) and twenty five years (OSP) before it is challenged and clarified in public forums. We have a long way to to go before this is a settled issue. I am certain MSPB and CAFC will provide more details on the regulations. OPM will make the implementing regulations as vague as possible. As I have stated it is beyong the imagination that the hanger-ons that feed off the hiring process assumed nothing would change. Amazing.
December 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm #137392
Anyone who is actually familiar with how the vet preference system works now knows that vet preference is actually a huge barrier for non-veterans to get hired into the federal government today. All of this talk about veterans being discriminated against, etc. is pure bunk. The majority of external federal hiring is going to preference applicants because of the way the new category rating system is applied. In the category rating system, all preference applicants automatically float to the top of their respective categories over ALL non-veterans without preference. This means that a preference veterans scoring a 90 in the best qualified category (usually scores range from 90-100 in the best qualified category) will automatically float to the top over all non-preference applicants in that same category. If you have enough veterans scoring 90+ often non-veterans will not even be allowed to make the cert. You will actually receive a message that says something like, “Due to the large number of preference applicants, no non-preference applicants will receive consideration at this time”. 30% or more disabled veterans are actually allowed to float to the top over multiple categories. Meaning, a 30%+ disabled vet scoring a 70 on a cert will float to the top over all non-veterans scoring even 100. This is why it is so difficult for non-veterans to get hired externally these days. Look up the facts of the category rating system. Also, for recent announcements like the US Marshals and ATF vacancies, these agencies did not even allow non-veterans to test because they had so many veterans applying. But you don’t hear about the discrimination against non-veterans in the federal government……
December 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm #137390
December 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm #137388
Kevin that is the way it is. I got in (as a non vet) as a temp. I worked my butt off and hoped would be picked up somewhere else after the two years were up. IMHO, the best way to get in is in lower grade. I got in as a GS04. No one and I mean no one, vet or otherwise wants to start there. Most are going for the GS 11 and up. So I took a chance and got it. I have told young grads, you want to get in look lower. Here at this installation a college grad starts at a GS5. Most of the students in my sons STEP years ago said there is no way they would take a GS5, so they moved on. I encouraged my son to take “whatever” is offered, stay in the low GS and work your way up. Until there is a rush (which I doubt) of vets wanting GS4 or 5 jobs, I believe he has a better chance. I believe Mr Dean is focused more on vets getting the top jobs. Fine, better chance for grads like my son. Stay positive. No Mr. Dean, I have no influence what so ever. I am am a lowly GS myself with no desire move up. Most vets here get in the co-op program to work on aircraft here. Not many are going for the aerospace engineering jobs or the environmental engineering jobs. However, our pay scale is low compared to DC (where all the jobs are).
December 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm #137386
Thanks, Julie! My problem is just with the veterans that continually cry discrimination, continually file lawsuits, continually complain about federal jobs, say things like all non-veterans should be fired, and actively seek to end programs like Pathways, FCIP, and Outstanding Scholar that actually give non-vets a chance, when the entire hiring arena under the category rating system is set-up to hire veterans. They don’t want to hear it because it is the truth.
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