On June 3, 2010, the Talent Management Advisory Council for the Veterinarian Medical Officer (VMO) occupation met at EPA to provide feedback on the Strategic Workforce Plan being prepared by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Hearings conducted by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on February 26, 2009, emphasized the important function the VMO profession plays in the Federal Government’s role to protect public health and food safety from natural and man-made threats. A GAO report in February 2009, clarified the need to improve the effectiveness of workforce management for this occupation. In a letter from OPM Director John Berry in October 2009, agency CHCOs were asked to appoint Designated Agency Representatives to the Talent Management Advisory Council. The letter also defined the VMO (occupational series 0701) as a Government-wide Mission Critical Occupation.
The strategic workforce plan will describe activities needed to advance three goals:
Goal 1: Enhance efforts to identify the veterinarian workforce needed during catastrophic events
Goal 2: Obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Federal veterinarian workforce
Goal 3: Improve recruiting and retention results for the Federal veterinarian workforce
During the Council meeting, participants from agencies with a VMO workforce were able to offer ideas and recommendations on an implementation plan to support these goals. Working in breakout groups, VMO Designated Agency Representatives were joined by workforce planning specialists, recruiting specialists, emergency planning specialists, and leaders from veterinarian professional organizations to craft appropriate activities for their agencies. Agency CHCOs and Deputy CHCOs will receive a draft version of the Strategic Workforce Plan for their review and comment by mid-June.