Of late, most of my postings have been about various failures by public sector employees to effectively management disasters and/or the lack of ability to think long-term about climate and environment changes. As someone with a public administration background, it is discouraging to document these problems. Nevertheless, given the present environment of major dislike and disrespect for government and serious disregard of public servants by segments of our Congress, it is no wonder that the ability to anticipate and manage major disasters and crises is deteriorating. In my opinion, the gap is growing in the emergency management field between knowledge of what needs to be done and the ability to take effective actions.
An article in today’s Washington Post brought home to me some of the indirect damage done by the recent federal shutdown and the ongoing sequester. It is titled Young Workers Souring on Federal Careers. After reading it I realized the federal workforce problems will not just be short-term but long-term if young people do not want to enter public service or make it their career. Some excerpts:
“No matter how much you love your job, everybody has their limits, their price. If Congress wanted to force young people out of federal jobs, then they are doing a great job.”
They are souring on government work just when they are needed most, experts say. The federal government is amid a retirement wave, with nearly twice as many executive branch employees leaving in the past fiscal year than did in 2009, according to federal figures.
“The shutdown was the perfect storm in turning millennials off from a career in government, ***.” “They are already everything the government is not: fast-moving, restless for change and entrepreneurial. So the shutdown was just one huge slap in the face, a wake-up call that said, “Why am I working here again?”
No one has compiled statistics on the number of federal workers quitting their jobs or looking to do so. But public employees say the chorus of dissatisfaction among young people is reaching record decibels.