If Julley Yang represents the next generation federal workforce, America's future looks bright. A management assistant in the Travel Office at the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC SW) in San Diego, California, Julley assists more than 2,000 civilians at the facility who use the Defense Travel System, reviewing orders, ensuring document requirements are met, conducting quality assurance, and problem solving to meet individual customers' needs.
Julley originally joined the NAVFAC team as an intern through the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), which connects federal and private sector employers to qualified and pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities. She learned about the WRP from a posting on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Career Services website. A recent graduate, she was in the midst of what was proving to be a frustrating job search and decided to explore the opportunity further, working with UCSD Career Services Center staff to submit the required paperwork. Not long after, she interviewed with a WRP recruiter on campus and was accepted into the WRP database.
At the time, Julley had set herself a deadline for finding a job in the San Diego area before moving back home to San Francisco. She very much wanted to stay in the area, but feared she might not be able to do so for much longer. Just before the deadline, she got a call from NAVFAC SW staff asking her to come in to interview. She also received a few other calls, including one for a job in Northern California, but her first choice was to work at NAVFAC. Thus, she was thrilled to be offered and accept a summer internship there starting in May 2011.
Her first position was in the mailroom, where she analyzed processes with FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Consolidated Mail Facility and devised recommendations for improvements that resulted in a 30-percent cost savings. She also did rotations in other operational areas and assisted with activities such as the Combined Federal Campaign and a facility-wide survey.
"Working at NAVFAC SW has been one great opportunity after another, which all began with WRP," Julley says. "The skills I have learned and experiences I have gained have definitely contributed to my personal and professional growth."
In college, Julley majored in International Studies. She knew that federal employment might be an option for her, but assumed that meant leaving California and moving to Washington, D.C. Through the WRP, she found a way to contribute her talents and skills to the federal workforce, but in the sunny city she's come to love and call home.