One-third of the federal government’s new hires in the first half of fiscal year 2011 were veterans, according to the President’s Council on Veterans Employment.

The council reported Thursday that the federal government hired 34,788 veterans during that period, which ran from October through March, compared to 32,825 during the first half of FY 2010.

Before the announcement, the council held a meeting the White House that included an appearance by President Obama.

“President Obama has charged us with honoring the nation’s sacred trust with our Veterans by doing all we can to help them find work when they come home. They fought to protect the American Dream, and they should never feel that it is out of their reach,” Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said in a press release. “That’s why we have focused so intently on hiring Veterans in the public service -- men and women who understand the sense of duty and country that should define our federal workforce.”

Berry said the council has “successfully increased the percentage of Veterans hired in the federal government. Due to general employment patterns, the first quarter numbers tend to spike, but we are still encouraged by the fact that in the first half of this fiscal year, our percentage of Veterans hired is better than during the same segment of time in any of the last six years.”

Two weeks ago, the administration released its annual report on the hiring of veterans. It showed that 72,000 veterans were hired in all of fiscal year 2010, about 2,000 more than the year before. That did not satisfy Joseph Sharpe, director of the American Legion’s economic division, who said that the rise in hirings should have been “a lot higher” because of all the attention the administration had given it.

That attention includes these items cited in the OPM release:

·Launching of “Mil2Feds,” a program to help people translate their military skills to federal jobs.

·Creating a Hiring Percentage Model to help agencies set goals for the hiring of veterans, including disabled vets.

·Establishing a Veterans Employment Program Office in 24 federal agencies.

·Developing a government wide Strategic Plan on Veteran recruitment and employment.

·Launching the www.FedsHireVets.gov Web site to provide information on federal employment for vets.


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