Pathways for the Students and Recent Graduates to Federal Careers
When he came into office, President Obama
was determined to make the government more efficient, more effective, more streamlined.
This includes the hiring process. He has taken three actions over the past few years to improve
the Federal Governments hiring process. First he ordered that the government move to a streamlined
resume based hiring system where managers could select from among all the best qualified
candidates. Second he said that we should be doing a better job of hiring our veterans
and he launched a veteran’s initiative that has had great success. The third prong is
making the Federal Government more competitive with the private sector in hiring students
and recent graduates and that is our pathways program initiative.
Where we are in the process right now is our regulations to implement these programs have
gone final. That means there is now a framework in place for agencies to setup their own pathways
programs. Now that does not happen overnight. It going to take them about sixty days to
get going. So starting around the middle of July you should begin to see some pathways
opportunities on USAJOBS.gov. There might not be a whole lot at first as the agencies
get their programs running. But if you keep looking starting in the middle of July through
the end of the summer then maybe the fall interviewing season. That’s when we think
we will be really hitting our stride. And at that point your going to be getting information
about what jobs are available and what you need to do to apply.
The pathways program has three elements to it. We have an internship program, that’s
our student program. A recent graduates program is a career development program for those
who have graduated within the past two years. And our Presidential Management Fellows Program
that’s our flagship leadership development program for those who have graduate degrees.
The internship program is open to students at all levels of their educations, starting
in high school. We also reach out to community colleges and students in trade schools, vocational
schools, four year degree programs, advanced degree, professional degree, all levels of
education, this program is open to you. We have a brand new recent graduate program.
It’s open to recent graduates, that means that once you graduate you have two years
from then to apply to get in this program. And it’s open to a broad range of graduates
vocational schools and trade schools, community colleges, four year degrees, master degrees,
doctorate degrees. We think the recent graduates program is a great way to reach out to the
next generation of workers, but it also has broad appeal. For mothers who take time off
from the work place to raise a family and go back and complete their education, this
program is open to you. For veterans who come back from serving overseas and take advantage
of the new GI Bill, this program is for you. So the way we developed these programs we’ve
studied the issue of students and recent graduates ability to get into the government for over
a year and we reached out to a broad range of stakeholders: agencies, federal employee
unions, students themselves, academic institutions, good government groups. And what we took from
all of that analysis was that students and recent graduates lack the experience needed
to compete with the rest of the nation in seeking a federal job. So that’s where these
pathway programs came from. We needed to setup these new programs where students would compete
against other students, recent graduates would compete against other recent graduates and
the Federal Government would be able to bring these folks into these jobs even though they
did have the kind of experience that other people in the work force have obtained already.
The government gets a great benefit from these programs because it allows us to be more competitive
with this segment of society. The government has not done a good job historically with
recruiting, hiring and retaining students and recent graduates. We need to tap into
that resource. They are a very valuable pool of talent that will come in and help us address
the skills gaps that we are facing in the government. We need to have people with cutting
edge talent that comes from complete a recent education to deal with the complex problems
that our country faces in the 21st century.