The chronically understaffed Federal Emergency Management Agency is going all-out to try to fill vacant positions and reach its long-sought goal of being at 90% staffing level.
The plans include a job fair to be held in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, where the agency will try something never before done: “on the spot interviews and hiring,” according to a notice on FEMA’s web site.
But arrive early, because only the first 500 applicants will be considered, no matter how well qualified the 501st person to walk through the door is.
That’s how government works.
On Thursday, officials at FEMA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters will hold a job fair aimed at finding as many as 50 new employees. The agency plans on hiring 41 just for its procurement division, said Marko Bourne, FEMA’s director of policy and program analysis.
There are about 333 positions listed as vacant at FEMA overall. Candidates have been selected to fill 107 of them. FEMA Deputy Director Harvey Johnson said once those 107 are finalized and the job fair is finished, FEMA will likely have crossed the 90 percent capacity threshold “for the first time in years.” — Government Executive
Johnson said it expected to reach the 95% goal sometime this year. Of course, that’s what they said last year, too.
Throughout 2006, FEMA had reported that it was just short of reaching its 95% staffing goal, but kept pushing back the goal, eventually dropping it entirely, as it failed time and again to recruit enough people. Like the rest of the Department of Homeland Security, it has been plagued with senior level vacancies as well.