Federal agencies will intensify their talent search in and out of government for women and minorities to take middle- and top-management ($33,000 to $47,500) civil service jobs.
The push will come as a result of yesterday's directive from the three politically appointed Civil Service Commission members. They told their top staff to come up with a hard-hitting new program by Aug. 1 that will emphasize "strong affirmative recruitment" of women and minorities for key jobs in the personnel and merit system watchdog agency.
Because the program has the full backing of the White House, other federal departments and agencies will fall into line with programs to add more minorities to the top management ranks of government, which now is predominantly white and male.
CSC's top staff also is supposed to develop a program setting up a number of "developmental positions" which, in effect, will be super'management trainee jobs designed to bring women, blacks and Spanish-speaking and other minorities into the executive ranks.
After the commissioner's meeting, CSC Chairman Alan K. Campbell, said the new emphasis on increasing the minority population at the top will not be accomplished by quotas, or any "lowering of standards."
"What it means," Campbell said, "is that there will be a more strenuous effort than ever before" to seek out talented women and minority group members - in and out of government.
The commission also will de-emphasize CSC experience, and specialization in personnel work that has been the primary route to the top in the agency. "Broader experience" in other job disciplines, and experience in other agencies and in private industry will be emphasized in the new program. That has caused some long faces among CSC's top staff, which is largely home-grown.
Although other federal agencies are not mentioned in the broader management recruitment plan, they will take the hint. Several personnel directors from other agencies were at the meeting yesterday and they will help to spread the word that this SCS program is close to the President's heart.
Veterans Preference: With the full backing of the White House, CSC shortly will propose major changes in a predominantly male benefit - veteran's preference.
Military veterans, by law, now get points added to their test scores when applying for federal jobs, and lifetime preference over nonveterans during layoffs. They also get other benefits that are denied to about half the male population, and 99 per cent of women because they did not do military service.
Several other administrations have proposed watering down or elminating veteran's preference. All have given up after intense opposition from veterans organizations and the Congress. Despite warnings that they may be stirring up a political hornet's nest, Carter aides have given CSC the green light to push for modification of veteran's preference.
CSC Chairman Campbell is expected to outline some of the ideas today when he keynotes the Federally Employed Women's conference at the Sheraton Park Hotel. Campbell has spoken out before the need for changes in the veteran's preference law and his speech today before FEW will provide him with an ideal audience.
When CSC comes up with its legislative proposal, it is likely to take one of two forms.
A one-shot use of veteran's preference, to give veterans who were out to the civilian labor force for a time a helping hand into government.
A time limit of veteran's preference benefits to help establish and move an employee in government with the VP benefits ending after one to four years of civilian years of civilian service.
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