Feds in their 30s relatively unhappy on the job, study shows

Analysis by the Partnership for Public Service shows federal workers from 30 to 39 are most unsatisfied with their employment.

  • Federal employees in their 30s are relatively unsatisfied with their jobs. New analysis from the Partnership for Public Service shows that feds ages 30 to 39 scored the lowest of any age group for their views on senior leadership, workplace recognition, work-life balance and professional development. And when it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts, employees with disabilities and LGBTQ employees are scoring their agencies the lowest. On the other hand, Asian and white employees have the most positive views for how they feel their agencies are managing DEIA issues.
    (2023 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government - Partnership for Public Service)
  • Martin Gruenberg, the embattled chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, will resign in the coming months. Gruenberg said in a statement that he is prepared to step down from his responsibilities once a successor is confirmed. His decision comes on the heels of a Senate hearing and a critical report from an independent committee that found a workplace environment that fostered “hostile, abusive, unprofessional and inappropriate conduct.” Gruenberg, who has been with the FDIC since 2005, has been under pressure since last fall when news reports surfaced about the agency's toxic workplace culture.
  • House lawmakers are trying to roll back the Securities and Exchange Commission’s controversial cybersecurity rules. The Financial Services Committee last week advanced a resolution that would nullify the SEC’s cyber requirements. The rules just went into effect last year. They require publicly traded companies to disclose material cyber incidents, as well as to report on their cybersecurity risk management strategies. But some House Republicans argue the SEC’s rules create too much of a burden on public companies and in some cases require them to disclose confidential information. The resolution now has to be approved by the full House. But the White House has said President Biden will veto any attempt to overturn the SEC requirements.
  • The Postal Service is rejecting calls for its regulator to weigh in on its network modernization plans, at least for now. USPS just told Congress it is putting a shakeup of its mail-processing operations on hold until at least January 2025. But USPS said it is not legally required to get a regulator’s stamp of approval for those plans to proceed. Federal law requires USPS to seek out an advisory opinion from its regulator whenever it makes changes that would impact service nationwide. USPS told the Postal Regulatory Commission its plans may potentially require it to seek an advisory opinion at some point in the future. But seeking that opinion now would be “premature.”
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is urging water utilities to improve their cybersecurity practices. The EPA, in a new enforcement alert released Monday, said a majority of recent water system inspections have turned up alarming cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including the use of default passwords, as well as shared log-in information. The EPA said these cyber shortfalls put water systems at risk and potentially violate the Safe Drinking Water Act. The agency vowed to step up its enforcement of cyber practices across the water sector amid an increase in attacks on water systems.
  • The Navy has created a new unit to help the service integrate unmanned surface vessels. Unmanned Surface Vessel Squadron Three will oversee a fleet of small, uncrewed surface vessels, including Global Autonomous Reconnaissance Craft manufactured by the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation. The Navy recently introduced a new robotics warfare specialist general rating to accelerate development of deep expertise in autonomous technologies. Those robotics warfare specialists will be part of the new squadron. Capt. Derek Rader assumed command of the unit.
  • The Defense Department's chief digital and artificial intelligence office is trying to make it easier to connect emerging technologies to the Pentagon's workflow. William Streilein, the chief technology officer for the CDAIO, said that his office is developing an AI maturity model. The initiative aims to translate where the technology best fits into DoD's needs. Streilein said the model will use a rubric to make it easier to understand where AI can integrate into the DoD's operations. The five levels of the rubric will help DoD employees connect their work with large language models to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information. Streilein made the comments yesterday at the ACT-IAC Emerging Technology and Innovation Conference.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs approved its millionth claim for disability benefits under a historic piece of legislation. The 2022 PACT Act expanded VA health care and benefits eligibility for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service. The legislation also covers the treatment of certain rare cancers and other diagnoses and conditions veterans sustained during their military careers. The PACT Act is the largest expansion of VA services in more than 30 years, and the VA has paid out nearly $6 billion in PACT Act benefits so far.
    (President Biden to announce 1 million PACT Act claims approved, benefits delivered to veterans in all 50 states and U.S. territories - White House)
  • President Joe Biden has nominated Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind to become the next superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy. Bauernfeind currently leads the Air Force Special Operations Command. Bauernfeind graduated from the academy in 1991. Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, who has been the academy’s superintendent since 2020, is leaving the service for a high profile civilian job as the executive director of the College Football Playoff.
  • The General Services Administration donated 45 laptops, worth more than $48,000, last month to a rural school in Mississippi. The school is still recovering from a major tornado that struck the area in 2023. As part of its Computer for Learning Program, GSA has donated more than 4,700 computers since January 2022 to students across the country. The next batch of 50 laptops will go to elementary and middle school students in New Mexico, who attend a tribal-controlled school. Before being donated, the laptops are cleared of federal applications and data, leaving an operating system where schools can build with their selected software.

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