I am Brent Cox: I am a Federal Employee

I help young men ages 16 to 24 through a program that provides them the opportinuity to get a GED, High School Deploma and a skill that will provide them with a living wage.  Most of these young adults that come into this program have not completed high school, and have no skills to help them find work. 

These students live on Center while they are working to obtain this education and these work skills.  I work with these students in the evening hours and  spend much of my time showing these young men how get along with each other, and deal more effectively with all of life’s issues.  These students learn out to lead, how to organize, how to clean and maintain a healthy home environment,  how to be respectful to one another, how to establish boundaries, how to deal with life’s problems without the use of drugs or alcohol, and how to find strength in their own abilities. 

When a successful student leaves Job Corps they have completed their Education, Skills Training and Social Living Skills and are much better prepared to go out into the world and be successful.   I and other workers that make up the staff at Job Corps help students who often arrive here unable to cope with the world on the outside, many with historys of failure and addiction.  We provide these young men and woman with not only new skills, but a strength in themselves, and from that the self knowledge that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.  Without this program many of these young men and woman would not be able to find work and would not be able to deal effectively with any of the problems that beset them.

 

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I Am Chris Bentley: I Am a Federal Employee

If anyone had asked my speech therapist 19 years ago if he thought it likely that I would be working for the U.S. Forest Service as a Public Affairs specialist having completed a master’s degree from a top ranked university, he probably would have said, “Well, I’d be happy if he could just use words to let us know he’s hungry.”

I had a cerebral arterial venous malformation rupture when I was nine years old that required eight brain surgeries spanning eight years of my life and even more years dedicated to intensive therapy. I’ve realized that health problems are often mixed blessings though. Because of all of my medical challenges, I became aware of others around my community who struggle in other areas and was able to have a keen empathy for them and a desire to help them be fully successful.

That’s why I decided I would attempt to work for the federal government. I realized growing up that there are many ways of making a difference–community outreach programs, non-profits geared around every possible social problem under the sun–but  it came down to deciding how I could make the biggest impact with the broadest scope as a federal employee.

Now I see my co-workers struggling to produce the kind of quality performance they’d like to provide for the American public. Many of them are doing the jobs of three people since recently retired employees have not been replaced. Morale is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, and I think this is due to the fact that my co-workers had similar ambitions to mine that motivated them to pursue federal employment instead of any of the other millions of things they could do. But their ability to make the kinds of positive impacts they’d like to make has been greatly hindered by the way they’ve had to scrape so thin to cover the essential roles that our country needs covered to keep our country running smoothly. And they are not able to produce the high quality work they’d like to produce.

Despite this disappointing situation, I am still thrilled to be a federal employee, and I hope that I’ll be able to make the kind of difference I’ve been blessed to still be able to make.

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We are the Department of Housing & Urban Development: We are Federal Employees

Employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development work every day to provide housing to the homeless, battle housing discrimination, ensure the integrity of housing projects, and much, much more. Click here to see a touching video of what they do for America each and every day.

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I am Deanna Sanchez: I am a Federal Employee

My name is Deanna Sanchez and I am 41 years old. I am employed as a Munitions Handler/material handler at the Yakima Training Center. I was a member of the National Guard for six years and spent one year deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in support of operation Enduring Freedom and my country. My husband has been a member of the US Army for over 17 years.

I am writing to address the recent attacks on federal employee’s character, benefits, pay and retirement. I have completed my military duty and have entered federal service for the Department of the Army as a federal employee to continue my support of the military. In my short times as a civilian career, I have experienced the attacks that has come upon federal employees through threats of eliminating benefits, freezing our pay, reducing our rights through collective bargaining, reductions in force and indefinite furloughs.

I have spent the past two years as a material handler in a Troop Issue Substance Agency, where three of us are responsible for all the warehouse operations for providing food to military units training and preparing for deployment. In an 18-month period, we support over 35,000 military members. We are held accountable for quality, security and accuracy of unit accounts and the food products consumed by our fighting force. We are understaffed, yet through our commitment to our military, we find a way to make sure our Units do not go hungry. We are neither lazy, nor wasteful, though this is the general characteristic being sold to the public about federal employees. And this is one of the justifications being used to reduce or eliminate our benefits. We work hard for our pay. We work hard for our benefits. We work hard for our military.

Our standard of work is high; our training to do our job is much higher. We must know as much as any person in the private sector as well as how our military runs to be able to coordinate with them, and in most cases, assist in training them according to their standards. Federal employees give much of themselves to ensure the soldiers we are training and supporting have every possible tool they need to complete their mission and come home safe. Now Congress wants us to give our livelihood, our retirement security, our jobs, and our rights.

Please, in support of our Nation, in support of those who support our military, and in support of those who will take our place when we retire, help us retain our rights to fair bargaining in our employment; pay us fairly and in line without private sector counterparts; ensure our security for retirement; and provide us the tools and manpower to support our military in the manner they deserve.

I invite you to come see the hard work and work load we have and the invaluable service we provide to our military in their preparations for deployment to combat the next time you are in Yakima, Washington.

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I’m Matt Kolodzie: I am a Federal Firefighter

My name is Mathew Kolodzie and I am a Federal Employee.

I started working for the federal government in 2003 as a firefighter for the Department of Army. What I didn’t know at the time was that we federal firefighters work many more hours than the municipal firefighters. We are required to work 72 hrs a week, whereas the private sector works a 40 hr week. Those extra hours keep me from my family.

Now everyone claims as a federal employee that I am compensated very well for these extra hrs… I make actually less money than a five year employee at FDNY, than with my 8 years of service with Uncle Sam. The attacks on federal employees have to stop! People really need to do their homework before thinking we are all just fat cats rolling in money.

Now with my pay frozen I will be even more behind in pay than the other local firefighters. Just another blow to the federal workforce in general if you ask me. As a federal firefighter I am protecting those who serve America! Why am I getting made out to be no good, when I am doing so much for those who serve America?

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I’m Byron J: I am a VA Social Worker/MSW

Federal Employees are often paid a bit more because they spend years of their own time and money to obtain a degree, be it advanced or otherwise. Much of federal government work requires hiring credentialed professionals. The disconnect is that those who have not made similar sacrifices don’t understand how the fed government dot’s are connected.

 Even before suggested downsizing, many federal government employees were already doing the jobs of 2 or 3 people. Increased downsizing can mean even longer wait periods for customers. Careful what you ask for! Many of my co-workers already work (off the clock) 1-3 hours each day trying to keep up while more is still being asked of them.

 The federal government employee is not big-government. He/she is your next door neighbor, high school or college graduate, husband/wife, son/daughter, soccer mom, or the person you sit next to in church. Their paycheck rekindles local economies and helps the overall tax base, same as everyone else. After twenty-seven years in the military, and fifteen years in the federal government (V.A.) I can tell you there’s no silver spoons handed out.

 The special interest and anti-government campaigns harboring a we-versus-them mentality, merely serve to further degrade our economy and inflame myths about the federal government.

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I’m Donny Haberski: I am a Federal Firefighter

My name is Donny Haberski and I am a Federal Firefighter.

I started my federal service when I was 17 years old as a recruit at Great Lakes, Illinois at the Naval Basic Training Center. After proudly serving 10 years of military service in both the Navy and the Air Force (both active and reserve duty) I decided to leave the military and attend college.

After completing my degree, my career in the Federal Fire Service began. I presently work for the Dept. of the Army as a Firefighter/EMT/Hazmat Technician. I chose the federal fire service for many reasons. Our motto of ” Protecting those who defend America” shows the pride that Federal Firefighters have for those we have sworn to protect and the love we share for our country. Pride, patriotism, protecting and service to my country are some of the reasons I chose my career path.

I could have worked for a municipal Fire Dept. and made more money, but for me, being a federal employee is far more rewarding. Being a member of the Federal Employee family I have the opportunity to serve with some of the hardest working, patriotic, and generous Americans our country has to offer. Why work anywhere else?

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