Excel as a High-Performing Agency

Teaching youth about federal career prospects

Earlier this month, Law Enforcement Officer Patrick Wiese and fire prevention education specialist D. A. Brabazon traveled to the Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center in Cadillac, Michigan, to talk to high school students about federal employment and USAJobs. Over 600 students passed through the halls, and a large number stopped to ask about summer jobs in forestry, biology, law enforcement, wildland firefighting and even heavy equipment operating. Officer Wiese spent time explaining entry level positions that can give a student an edge in becoming an officer with the agency while Brabazon demonstrated the USAJobs website and spoke about resume building and proper documentation of knowledge, skills and abilities through supporting paperwork for potential employment.

“One thing stressed to students is the descriptive detail of their current job functions. Having specific examples that correlate directly to the knowledge, skills and abilities section of the application will help the Human Resource point of contact effectively rate the packet for consideration,” said Brabazon.

She added that learning to navigate the new system can be overwhelming for students and that offering assistance is vital for youth to navigate what they perceive as an intimidating process. She went on to add that most students were under the misconception that federal employment was an either/or option.

“Students thought that they either applied for a job or had to go to college or [join the] military. But explaining [sic] that they needed to consider their five-year plan of what happens after graduation or discharge from the military would be beneficial to landing a job. An approach of investigate, plan and execute would be a good approach to seeking a career path,” Brabazon stated.