College Grads and Government Service

Worried that too many young Americans are turned off by the idea of working in government, Congress has provided $600,000 for a research project to develop strategies to raise interest among college students in federal service.
The “Call to Service Recruitment Initiative” will be run by the Office of Personnel Management and the Partnership for Public Service, according to the fiscal 2006 spending bill that covers OPM operations.

Congress Funds Project to Entice College Grads to Government Service,” by Stephen Barr, The Wahsington Post, December 9, 2005

Half of the 1.9 million current federal employees will be eligible to retire in the next five years, and the Partnership’s research shows that Uncle Sam must work harder to attract college students to public service jobs. A 2002 survey found that college students know very little about employment opportunities in the federal government: only 21% of them ever recalled a federal recruiter visiting their campus. And a 2005 survey of graduating college seniors found that only 23% were “very interested” in working for the government.

Attracting Young Americans to Federal Service,” FedSmith, July 29, 2005

The Call to Serve Recruitment Initiative is part of the Call to Serve program, a network created in 2002 by the Partnership and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to educate young Americans about government careers. The network currently consists of 552 colleges and universities and 62 federal agency partners.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card Pitches Public Service to 2,000 Interns; PPS Announces New National Effort to Help Attract Young Americans to Federal Service,” Partnership for Public Service, July 26, 2005
What is Call To Serve?” Partnership for Public Service
Managing Federal Recruitment: Issues, Insights, And Illustrations; A Report To The President And The Congress Of The United States (Agency Illustrations),” by The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, September, 2004
A recent college graduate of our acquaintance applied for several government jobs over a 12-month period in 2004 and 2005, and received very few responses, despite having a solid B average from a good liberal arts college and being conversant in Spanish and Mandarin. So it doesn’t sound to us like the federal government is trying too hard to hire recent college grads …. rather than $600,000 studies, maybe federal government agency HR offices should merely return phone calls and acknowledge receipt of applications and resumes …

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