Career Reconstruction Zone
ibbons were to be cut, computers fired up and jobs found starting in mid-May at the new Interagency Transition Center, which serves displaced employees in the Washington metropolitan area. Government officials from Washington, Virginia and Maryland teamed with the Office of Personnel Management, the Labor Department and other agencies to create the center.
Between fiscal 1993 and fiscal 1995, the Washington metropolitan area has lost nearly 28,000 federal jobs, 12 percent of the total of 240,000 federal jobs lost nationwide during the same period. Only a little more than 1,000 of the cuts in the Washington area came as a result of layoffs, but OPM officials expect that to change.
Until now, the brunt of federal downsizing efforts has been borne by the Defense Department, which has fewer employees in the D.C. area than other agencies. Future layoffs will hit harder in non-Defense agencies, at departmental headquarters and among middle managers, all of which predominate in Washington.
The new transition center is open to federal employees with certificates of expected separation or reduction in force notices, civil servants seeking career transition services and federal contract employees facing layoffs. For those facing layoffs, the center will provide unemployment insurance applications.
The center shares offices with the D.C. dislocated workers unit, an especially useful feature since displaced workers receive unemployment benefits from the states where they work and 65 percent of federal employees in the Washington metropolitan area work in the District of Columbia.
In addition, the center will provide on-line job search facilities, resume preparation services, skills analyses, self-assessment tools, retirement and financial planning assistance and a library of career transition books and materials.
The center's address is 800 N. Capitol St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20002 and its phone number is (202) 565-6672. Displaced federal workers can locate job openings worldwide by calling a job opportunities board at (912) 744-3100; OPM's Career America Connection at (912) 744-3000; or by using touch screen computers located in federal offices across the country. The job opportunities board can also be reached on the Internet via telnet at: fjob.mail. opm.gov.