The Washington Post reported that the word most frequently spoken in the 2013 State of the Union speech was "jobs." President Obama outlined initiatives that would create a variety of private-sector jobs in many industries. These new employment opportunities will in turn generate many well-paying civil service jobs, according to Kathryn Troutman, president of The Resume Place, Inc. and an expert on federal employment.
"When Congress or the president acts to stimulate job creation in the private sector, the federal government often must take on additional work to support, regulate or augment this economic activity," said Troutman. "The proposals that the president outlined in his Feb. 12 speech would create work – and likely some new jobs — in departments such as Defense and Homeland Security and in other federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health." Among the private-sector jobs initiatives likely to create federal jobs are these five:
- President Obama announced the launch of three regional manufacturing innovation institutes that will help modernize American industry. These hubs will collaborate with the departments of Defense and Energy, creating work for those key federal employers.
- Proposed federal funding of research could help scientists understand and eventually prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease, and develop drugs to regenerate damaged organs, among other biomedical initiatives. Such research requires administrative services from the likes of the National Institutes of Health.
- The "Fix-It-First" program would put private-sector engineers, project managers and construction workers on the job, effecting urgent repairs on 70,000 structurally deficient bridges, among other projects. These contracts would likely require hiring in agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration charged with procuring and overseeing such infrastructure construction and repairs.
- President Obama asked Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Such a law could require federal departments and agencies such Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security to process millions of additional applications for citizenship, each requiring a background check and other labor-intensive steps. Additional federal jobs would likely result.
- The president called on Congress to "keep faith with our veterans," which means, among others things, providing both private-sector and federal employment opportunities. Cabinet departments most likely to yield jobs for former servicemen and women include Defense, Energy, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, ICE, Interior, Justice and Transportation.
"Any federal jobs engendered by the president’s proposals will be posted on USAJOBS," said Troutman. "Candidates should be aware that the federal job application is very detailed and technical, and more demanding than the private-sector process. To be successful, applicants must rewrite and expand their resumes to meet stringent federal requirements."