Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Citizens Advisory Council Hears Presentation On DEP Workforce Development, Succession Planning

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday heard a presentation on workforce development and succession planning within DEP and made changes to its policy for accepting public comments during its monthly meetings.
Jason Swarthout, Director of DEP’s Bureau of Human Resources, provided Council with an overview of DEP’s workforce and steps the agency is taking on succession planning.
Swarthout provided this snapshot of DEP’s workforce: 95 percent of DEP’s positions are civil service, 70 percent are covered by union contracts, 72 percent of positions are in field offices, DEP uses 300 different job classifications.
The average age of a DEP employee is 48 with 15.7 years of experience and for individuals in leadership positions the average age is 53 with 22 years of experience.
Over the next four years 30 percent of DEP’s employees will be eligible for retirement.  About 6 to 8 percent of employees retire each year, although that could accelerate with the adoption of pension reforms.  The average age of a DEP employee retiring is 59.
Swarthout said the agency is providing a variety of tools to agency managers so they can take steps to accommodate retirements by improving core staff skills, identify future managers and by smoothing the process of opening civil service tests in a more timely manner to facilitate filling positions when they become available.
DEP, like other employers, is also adjusting its hiring practices to the expectations of a new generation of potential employers whose expectations are different than those of the baby boomers.
There is more competition for employees to fill open positions because there are fewer eligible graduates of academic programs.  Younger employees, Swarthout said, are also expecting to jump from job to job and not stay with one company or agency for their entire career like baby boomers.
In response to concerns about these and other issues, in particular attracting more minority candidates to fill positions in DEP, the Council formed a new Workforce and Succession Planning Committee to look more closely at these issues.
A copy of Swarthout’s presentation will be posted on the Citizens Advisory Council’s webpage.
Public Comments At CAC Meetings
The Council also adopted changes to its procedures to allow for public comments during each of its monthly meetings.
The CAC sets aside 15 minutes at each of its public meetings for comments from the public on issues they are concerned about.  In several recent meetings, groups of individuals presented similar comments on a specific issue which became more in the nature of a public hearing than the comment period was intended for at meetings.
The Council clarified its procedures to ensure people presenting comments understood the CAC is not a decision making body, it advises DEP on issues of concern to Council members and the public.
Persons interested in presenting comments should notify Council 24 hours before the meeting to they can be assured time to present their comments. Comments should be limited to no more than five minutes, unless prior arrangements have been made.
Groups will be asked to designate a representative to present their views.
To arrange to present comments before Council, contact Michele Tate, CAC Executive Director, by sending email to: or call 717-787-8171.
August Meeting Canceled
The August meeting of the Council has been canceled.  The next meeting is September 15. For more information, visit DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council webpage.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner