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Mills has organized a petition to OPM requesting a one-year deadline extension. More than 250 PMF Class of 2013 finalists have signed on. The class has reached out to members of Congress, as well, asking them to contact OPM on their behalf. The response received thus far from OPM has been paltry. Mills received an email acknowledging receipt of her message, and the Feb. 19 letter announcing the coming job fair and a pre-career fair workshop. Mills acknowledges this will be too late for many people who have given up and accepted other employment.
The PMF’s extensive alumni network is getting involved on the Class of 2013’s behalf. Mills and alumnus Jeremy Furrer (Class of 2011) are organizing a 24-hour push on Tuesday to mobilize all PMF alumni to contact OPM Director Katherine Archuleta and Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley (a PMF alumnus from the Class of 1982) with a request to extend the 2013 PMF class’s deadline.
Furrer said the PMF alumni network is eager to get involved and help the Class of 2013. “We’ve all benefited so much from the program,” he said. “At some point, the alumni have to get involved and say something. PMF is an opportunity that only comes once in a while. It’s tough to get into. To get to the point where you’re a finalist, there is the belief that you have a good chance for a position. And it hasn’t transpired the way it has in past years.”
There’s still a little more than six weeks for PMF Class of 2013 finalists to find employment. For some, OPM’s eleventh-hour job fair could prove fruitful. Others will see the window close on their chance to become a Presidential Management Fellow.
“Even with low morale, this PMF finalist group has continued to work together to help one another,” Mills said. “They have not given up and have truly showed the characteristics this government should be looking for in future leaders of this country. It is unfortunate this talent will be missed out on.”