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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
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2006 Competitive Sourcing

Department of Labor (DOL) FY 2006 Competitive Sourcing Program Alignment with Strategic Management of Human Capital Initiatives

The Department of Labor (DOL) has continued close coordination of its Competitive Sourcing and Strategic Human Capital Management initiatives so as to prepare and provide accountability for leadership, effectively use performance management as a way to focus on mission and target strategic occupations to close skill and competency gaps. The Department continues to identify skills gaps so that any deficiencies may be addressed during the competition process.

In support of this coordinated strategy, the Office of Competitive Sourcing and the Human Resources Center have held joint meetings with employees and also conducted a series of Professional Development Workshops focusing on enhancing knowledge and skills in the areas best suited for meeting existing and anticipated needs of the changing workforce. Weekly coordination meetings with HR and the Office of Competitive Sourcing provide increased understanding of the processes involved and allow for appropriate preparation and guidance for management, utilizing lessons learned and best practices.

While focusing on skills gaps, DOL integrates these efforts by offering a full range of services including:

  • Educating the workforce;
  • Securing authority to offer Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) through the end of FY 2007;
  • Securing Voluntary Separation Incentives on a case by case basis;
  • Enhancing employee placement tools;
  • Continuing the Department's interagency Competitive Sourcing Workgroup; and
  • Providing career transition and placement assistance services for employees affected by A-76 competitions.

The Department's interagency Competitive Sourcing Workgroup's role is to provide consistency of treatment of employees throughout competitive sourcing activities, close skills gaps where feasible, ensure effective and consistent communication and implementation, and provide input on the Department's policies on all Human Resources aspects of the competitions and results thereof. Also, this group provides a forum to share best practices and lessons learned that contribute to closing identified skills gaps.

DOL's efforts to educate the workforce involve on-going workshops to assist potentially affected employees in resume writing, interviewing skills, career management strategies, and creating an individual development plan. The Department has launched a new HR community website on its Intranet to encourage one-stop shopping for technical guidance and information on HR policies, procedures, and best practices, including information and tools for HR support of competitive sourcing.

DOL offers additional counseling services in the area of benefits and retirement. Results have been positive. For example, there were a total of 102 employees who took advantage of the Department's VERA authority during the last fiscal year.

DOL's concentration on assisting employees potentially affected by competition has been extremely successful. The Department will continue its current efforts and look for new ways to close skills gaps and improve upon services to maximize coordination with employees, unions and management to adapt to changing workforce needs while decreasing potential adverse impacts to the maximum extent possible.