Management Analyst, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Best known for: By day, Soriano is engaged in strategic planning and looking for opportunities to strengthen HUD’s acquisition and contracting processes. In his spare time, he has another job that is making waves and producing results — as co-founder and leader of Under 5. The volunteer group of HUD employees with less than five years of service are devoted to improving the work experience for new employees and solving department problems.
Soriano came to HUD in 2009 from the private sector and was struck by the inadequate orientation procedures. He also found it unsettling to see HUD’s low ratings on the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” survey and to watch relatively new and talented young employees leave the department after becoming disillusioned.
Since 2011, Soriano and his Under 5 colleagues have been working with HUD leaders to improve the employee orientation process and to institute a progressive parental leave policy. They led the way for a policy that allows employees to rotate to a different position in the department on a short-term basis and are developing a worker survey to provide regular feedback to their managers. Thirty projects are underway in two program offices, including one that involves a mobile smartphone and tablet application to help the public connect with housing assistance programs.
Under 5 has more than 300 members, with eight chapters in field offices outside Washington.
Government work: Soriano joined HUD in 2009 as a contract specialist and now works as a management analyst focusing on strategic planning and process improvement initiatives.
Motivation for service: Soriano has had a long-standing interest in real estate and initially went to work at HUD to learn how the federal government operates in relation to housing, home lending and federal regulatory policy. After six months, Soriano began to appreciate HUD’s impact and has become passionate about the mission of “getting people off the streets and helping people finding affordable housing.”
Biggest challenge: Learning to work under federal government rules after being in the private sector, where there were fewer hurdles.
Quote: “Under 5 is a grass-roots network of employees with an interest in making the new employee experience as terrific as possible. It also is a way for employees to come together to solve problems and learn from each other. The future of the group is to continue being innovative and to build and develop the next generation of leaders of HUD.”
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