Government Falls Short of Hiring Goals for the Disabled
After a decade in which employees with disabilities made up fewer than 1 percent of the federal workforce, President Barack Obama pledged in 2010 to make the federal government a "model employer" of people with disabilities. But hiring is behind the pace needed to meet the goal of 100,000 new workers to which he committed the nation.
The Government Accountability Office reported that the government had taken on 20,000 new employees with disabilities since Obama issued his executive order in 2010.
The GAO, the watchdog arm of Congress, said better planning is needed to meet the hiring goal.
An Office of Personnel Management review found that 29 of the 66 agencies that submitted hiring plans did not set numerical goals for new employees with disabilities, investigators wrote. Nine of the agencies did not identify a senior-level official responsible for their plans.
OPM itself, meanwhile, has not finished developing required training programs for the hiring managers and human resources personnel, the investigators found.
Veronica Villalobos, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at OPM, said the agency agreed with the GAO's recommendations and is working to implement them.
"We are proud of the progress made to increase the number of individuals and veterans with disabilities in the federal workforce and are continuing to work hard to meet the goals of the executive order," she said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun.