Eye Opener: The Government Needs a Slogan
Happy Wednesday! The federal government must quickly address the impending brain drain stemming from anticipated retirements and should re-brand itself as the nation's premier employer, according to a new study (or sales pitch cloaked in academic jargon) set for release today.
"If we don’t take advantage of this historic opportunity, hundreds of thousands of Americans will continue to suffer economic hardship, when they could be putting their diverse and vast talents to work for America," write co-authors Phyllis Horne, Pamela Foss and Scott Leslie. "Meanwhile, the nation will suffer from the government’s inability to quickly supplement and replace those qualified employees who are choosing to retire from government service as well as fill new positions being created to execute the economic stimulus package.
The trio authored "A Call to Public Service: A Historic Opportunity to Build a Smarter Government," which reiterates conventional concerns about the government's hiring mess (it stinks, takes forever and needs fixing) and then suggests that President Obama declare the situation a national crisis and hire an ad agency to develop a "full-scale branding, marketing, advertising and public relations campaign" that makes Americans feel good about public service and eager to work for the federal government.
"This campaign should clearly and compellingly position America as the Employer of Choice and motivate dedicated, experienced Americans of all employable ages to apply for existing and future vacancies," the authors write.
In an interview, Horne noted that applications submitted to USAJobs.gov have skyrocketed amid the national economic decline, creating even more headaches for government recruiters already taxed with identifying and processing qualified candidates.
"Unless we re-brand America as the employer of choice, we can’t be sure that the increased number of applications are coming from people who really value public service instead of people who have no other choice," she said.
• "The Few. The Proud. The Bureaucrats."
• “Reach out and serve someone.”
• "Public Servants Wanted."
• "I'm Servin' It."
Next, the government will need a sturdy, reliable spokesman, preferably from a network television drama. (Think Sam Waterson or Dennis Haysbert.) The Eye thinks the government should consider hiring Lawrence Fishburne, Rob Lowe or Kyle Chandler. (We'd suggest Kiefer Sutherland, but his recent antics might muddy the message.)
Got better suggestions? (We hope you do!) Leave them in the comments section below.
• Cabinet and Staff News: Obama's National Service pick bows out. Janet Napolitano signs border pact with Canadian officials. Timothy Geithner travels to Massachusetts to announce the national recipients of $1.5 billion in tax credits from the economic stimulus package. Secretaries Arne Duncan and Shaun Donovan visit Montana to dole out recovery funds to Native american communities. On her first day, Margaret "Peggy" Hamburg signals she sees FDA as a public-health agency, not just an organization that helps the food and drug industry market products.
In other news...
• Obama Integrates Security Councils, Adds New Offices: He will merge the staffs of the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council to speed up and unify security policymaking inside the White House.
• Civilian Officials Killed in Iraq: State Department employee Terrence Barnich, 56, deputy director of the department's Iraq Transition Assistance Office in Baghdad was among those killed.
• Interior Botches Officials' Passports, Report Finds: The department's IG finds widespread mishandling and erratic tracking of special passports issued to department officials traveling overseas.
• Indian Health Service Continues to Mismanage Property: A senior official got a big bonus despite missing property, according to a draft GAO report.
• Taming a Presidential Appointment Process 'Gone Bonkers': The moderate Democratic Leadership Council has published a new paper called "An Easy Fix for the Appointment Crunch."
• Congress to Give FDA New Authority Over Tobacco Products: The legislation, long resisted by the tobacco industry, could allow consumers to see for the first time what chemicals and other additives tobacco companies put in their products.
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