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June 27, 1994
  CONTACT: Michael Orenstein
(202) 606-1800


Washington, D.C. -- Office of Personnel Management Director Jim King today gave his full and ongoing support to veterans preference laws that continue to assist servicemen and women with the transition to civilian life after military service. For 50 years, veterans' preference has helped hundreds-of-thousands of veterans gain federal employment, while at the same time assisting the government fill positions that have needed the special skills, training and "can-do" attitudes of veterans.

"There will be no turning back on our commitment to the veterans of America--or to veterans preference--during this Administration, of which I am a part," said Jim King, during his participation in a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Veterans' Preference Act.

The Office of Personnel Management is responsible for administering and enforcing the Veterans Preference Act of 1944. The act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, three weeks after Allied Forces made their historic landing at Normandy.

"The recent D-Day ceremonies dramatically reminded us of the courage and sacrifice that inspired the legislation that President Roosevelt signed into law 50 years ago," said Director King. "Today, a half-century later, veterans' preference continues to be a cornerstone of our federal government's promise to those who have served the cause of freedom."

Since 1970, more than 330,000 veterans have been appointed to federal positions under the Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA) Authority. In 1992, 37.9 percent of VRA appointments were minorities, 16.6 percent were disabled, and 16.2 percent were women.

"This is a record we can all take pride in, even as we strive to improve it," added Director King. "I am proud to join with President Clinton in once again reaffirming our commitment to the veterans of America."

The federal government is the nation's single largest employer of veterans. Compared to private employers, the federal work force employs twice as many veterans, three times as many Vietnam-era veterans, five times as many disabled veterans, and seven times as many veterans who have suffered more than a 30 percent disability.

The OPM Director's comments were made during ceremonies at the U.S. Department of Labor.


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