Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing proposed regulations that will offer students and recent graduates more uniform and transparent pathways to public service. As directed by President Obama as part of the hiring reform initiative, the proposed Pathways Programs would improve recruiting and provide for training, mentoring, and career development opportunities. OPM’s proposed regulations limit these programs to serve as a supplement to competitive examining, apply veterans’ preference, and provide for OPM oversight.
“These regulations commit the federal government to two key goals,” said OPM Director John Berry. “First, they require pathways to federal service to be clear and accessible for students and recent graduates. Second, they press us to create a federal culture where agency leadership is actively engaged in recruiting, training, and managing top talent.”
In December, President Obama issued an Executive Order calling for these streamlined pathways into federal service for students and recent graduates. Since that time, OPM has worked to develop these proposed regulations, and to begin to build a government-wide culture which encourages agency leaders to engage these populations. The following summarizes the three Pathways Programs:
Internship Program. The Internship Program would replace the existing intern programs. It would be targeted towards students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions from high school to graduate level. It would provide students with opportunities to explore Federal careers while being paid for the work performed.
Recent Graduates Program. This brand new program would target recent graduates of trade and vocational schools, community colleges, universities, and other qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants would have to apply within two years of degree completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who would have six years after degree completion). Successful applicants would be placed in a two-year career development program.
Presidential Management Fellows Program. For more than three decades, the PMF Program has been the Federal government’s premier leadership development program for advance degree candidates. The Program focuses on developing a cadre of potential government leaders. Under the regulations proposed by OPM, The eligibility window for applicants would be expanded, making the program more “student friendly” by aligning it with academic calendars.
For more information, including a link to provide comments electronically, visit OPM’s website, www.opm.gov/HiringReform/Pathways/ OPM will respond to all comments when it drafts the final rule, which OPM anticipates being finalized in early 2012.
The proposed regulations may also be downloaded directly from the Federal Register in PDF format at: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-19623_PI.pdf