Eye Opener: Latinos in the Federal Government
Happy Tuesday! We've kind of written about this before, but it's worth exploring once more:
"Latino Americans may be the nation's fastest-growing minority group, but they're also the most underrepresented among civilian federal employees," yours truly writes in Tuesday's Federal Diary column. "As of last September, Hispanics accounted for about 8 percent of the total civilian federal workforce, according to the Office of Personnel Management. That's well below the 13.2 percent of Hispanics in the national civilian labor force, according to Labor Department statistics."
More: "Of the 25 largest government agencies, 17 saw modest increases in Hispanic hires in fiscal year 2008 over fiscal 2007, with most being made at the lower- and mid-level general schedule levels. At higher levels of government, Hispanics accounted for 3.6 percent of the Senior Executive Service during fiscal year 2008, according to OPM figures.
"The overall Latino hiring disparity is equivalent to more than 100,000 jobs or roughly $5.5 billion in salaries, according to Gilbert Sandate, chairman of the Coalition for Fairness for Hispanics in Government. His group has met with White House and OPM officials to discuss the issue.
"Put another way, practically every new hire in the federal government would have to be Hispanic to make up the difference between the population size and the numbers represented in the government civilian workforce, said Jorge E. Ponce, co-chair of the Council of Federal EEO and Civil Rights Executives."
So how can the government correct the issue? OPM is working on formulating a plan, according to officials, but has not yet to discuss hiring diversity with chief human capital officers. That responsibility will fall to incoming OPM deputy director Christine Griffin when she arrives soon, said OPM Chief of Staff Liz Montoya.
One thing we do know: Several agencies are trying to solve the problem.
"Across the board, a lot of departments are struggling with the hiring in general, and that is something that everyone is willing to admit," said Vince Casillas, the former Hispanic media director for the Obama campaign who is now a partner with Balsera Communications. He has met with several government agencies to discuss launching recruitment campaigns aimed at potential Latino recruits.
"There's definitely right now a deliberate and conscious effort to start reaching out to Latinos and recruiting them," Casillas said.
Do YOU have any ideas on how the government can hire more Hispanics? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
• Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama makes his first visit to the National Counterterrorism Center Tuesday. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants military advice to Obama stay private. Lead climate change staffer in the Senate leaves for the EPA. White House Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients discusses his "listening tour." Sonia Sotomayor takes an active role on her first day on the court. Gen. David E. Petraeus successfully treated for early stage prostate cancer. The new NIH director has issues of identity and culture. The "pay czar" targets salary cuts.
• Critics Don't See the Nuance in McChrystal's Comments on War: Commentators who say Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is pressuring the White House to accept his ideas or else didn't pay close attention to his remarks last week in London.
• Agencies Told To Reduce Emissions: The measure affects such things as the electricity federal buildings consume and the carbon output of federal workers' commutes.
• Homeland Security to Bring 3,200 Contractor Positions In-House: Internal analyses helped officials pinpoint inherently governmental jobs. They're spread across 20 offices within the department.
• GSA to Update on New DHS Headquarters Project: Parties interested in the $3.4 billion St. Elizabeth's project should mark Oct. 26 on their calendars
• Ideas for Immigrant Detention Include Converting Hotels and Building Models: The Obama administration is looking to convert such facilities into immigration detention centers and to build two model detention centers from scratch as it tries to transform the way the government holds people it is seeking to deport.
• SEC Holds Off on Divisive Rules: The agency soon will begin to limit short selling to keep stocks stronger during market crashes and will require new surprise audits of money managers to avoid a repeat of the Madoff scheme.
• FTC Sets Endorsement Rules for Blogs: Bloggers who offer endorsements must disclose any payments they have received from the subjects of their reviews or face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, the agency said Monday.
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