Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Patriotism, with Pay

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Patriotism, with Pay

Article excerpt

In five years, one-third of federal emergency workers will retire. With the possibility of a protracted campaign against terrorism, and the average age of federal workers now reaching 45, the government is having to step up recruitment efforts.

This campaign to fill key jobs is no less important than maintaining recruitment levels in the military, and it deserves just as high a priority.

At the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for instance, nearly half of the staff will retire within five years. This is the frontline agency for response to all kinds of disasters. Short-term solutions at FEMA and other offices include summoning back recent retirees with a public relations blitz, and offering flexible schedules, telecommuting, and other incentives.

The administration, though, is at odds over how to address the shortage in the future, and that needs to be resolved. Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels wants the private sector to compete for some 100,000 federal jobs during the next two years. …

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