Marine corps air station faces aging problem: organizational continuity problem looms.We've all heard about the graying of the federal workforce. There have been many warnings about the pending exodus of most of our senior personnel in the near future. To see if that was true at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS McCune-Albright syndrome (MCAS)
A genetic syndrome characterized in girls by the development of ovarian cysts and puberty before the age of 8, together with abnormalities of bone structure and skin pigmentation.
Mentioned in: Ovarian Cysts ), Cherry Point, North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. , we conducted an informal analysis. It confirmed that Cherry Point indeed has an aging workforce problem.
The employee population was 1,088 in September 2002. The ages of the employee population are spread as follows:
The median age is 49. Twenty-one percent of the Cherry Point civilian employee population is currently at retirement age (55). Approximately half of the current employee population will be retirement age within the next 5 years. Only 17.1 percent of the population are 40 years old or younger. Those facts strongly suggest that we have an organizational continuity problem on our doorstep.
Obviously, with regard to age we have an unbalanced workforce. The numbers are somewhat surprising in that we have separated many senior civilian employees through voluntary separation incentive programs as we have restructured our workforce for maximum efficiency.
Factors Leading to Age Imbalance in the Federal Civilian Workforce
This negative trend is not unique to MCAS, Cherry Point. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a report published by the Congressional Budget Office The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is responsible for economic forecasting and fiscal policy analysis, scorekeeeping, cost projections, and an Annual Report on the Federal Budget. The office also underdakes special budget-related studies at the request of Congress. in May 2001, approximately 25 percent of the federal civilian workforce was 50 or older in 1985. By December 2001, that figure was almost 40 percent.
Downsizing (1) Converting mainframe and mini-based systems to client/server LANs.
(2) To reduce equipment and associated costs by switching to a less-expensive system.
(jargon) downsizing followed the end of the Cold War, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union changed our national security requirements. Those changes led to reduced budgets, smaller military forces, and, consequently, less need for civilian personnel to support defense activities. Overall, employment within the Department of Defense declined by 37 percent over the 1985-2000 period. Personnel policies designed to protect employees' rights during reductions in force contributed to the age imbalance. Seniority-based reductions and elimination of civilian positions through attrition have both contributed to the aging workforce.
It is likely to get even worse within the Department as a result of the base realignment and closure Base Realignment and Closure (or BRAC) is a process of the United States federal government directed at the administration and operation of the Armed Forces, used by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and Congress to close excess military installations and realign action planned in fiscal year 2005, outsourcing competitions performed under the Office of Management and Budget The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), formerly the Bureau of the Budget, is an agency of the federal government that evaluates, formulates, and coordinates management procedures and program objectives within and among departments and agencies of the Executive Branch. Circular A76, and other cost-reduction initiatives.
Correcting the Age Imbalance
Many people argue that the federal personnel regulations inhibit the manager in hiring and retaining young employees. Although the policies may be inhibitive, there are actions managers can take to correct the age imbalance. The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. Civil Service cannot compete with the private sector on a pay basis, but surveys conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM See Oracle Process Manufacturing. ) indicate that the young employees are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. factors other than salary. Janice R. Lachance, the former OPM director, cites four factors that new employees seek:
* Opportunity to do good
* A family-friendly environment
* Mentoring opportunities
The Department of Defense and the military services have programs that address the concerns of new employees. It is the manager's responsibility to support and adopt programs that foster an environment that attracts bright, young people to federal service.
For example, flexibility in work-hours and work place is within the control of the field activity. The Marine Corps Consolidated Civilian Career Training, Navy Intern intern /in·tern/ (in´tern) a medical graduate serving in a hospital preparatory to being licensed to practice medicine.
in·tern or in·terne
n. Program, and other student trainee programs should be used as personnel recruitment tools. Mentoring programs like Civilian Leadership Development and Executive Leadership Development are available to expand the individual's career advancement.
Many may argue that limited resources do not allow the command to support worker-friendly programs. How can we afford a summer-hire program when we can't even afford to pay the electric bill? The reality is, we cannot afford not to train, mentor, and promote young employees to replace the aging civilian employee. The "brain drain brain drain
The loss of skilled intellectual and technical labor through the movement of such labor to more favorable geographic, economic, or professional environments. " is fast becoming a reality and, in order to continue providing the services required by the public, we must foster and promote programs and a work environment that will encourage the brightest young people to join the government workforce.
Action at the Highest Levels Needed
Leaders of federal agencies at the highest levels have been aware of the looming workforce age imbalance problem for several years, and most have taken corrective action A corrective action is a change implemented to address a weakness identified in a management system. Normally corrective actions are instigated in response to a customer complaint, abnormal levels if internal nonconformity, nonconformities identified during an internal audit or within the limitations of public law and available resources. Unfortunately, those efforts are not enough to offset the many factors contributing to the workforce age imbalance. Presidential and congressional action is needed to address this problem due to its magnitude and immediate nature.
Age Group Number Percent Less than 30 33 3.0 31-40 153 14.0 41-50 468 43.0 51-60 370 34.0 61-70 63 5.0 70 plus 1 0.1
Greg Pearson is a financial analyst for the Marine Corps Air Bases, Eastern Area.