$60,000 Tuition Payback!

Wednesday - 8/25/2010, 4:00am EDT

A few years back, at least among younger workers, anybody who stayed with the same company or in the same job for more than a few years either got bored, burnt-out or was labeled a loser who had peaked in mid-30s.

Not any more...

Many federal agencies report a bumper crop of job applicants who at one time might have would have sneered at anyone who sought job security over excitement and challenge.

But thanks to the recession, and a generous student loan repayment deal, a growing number of young professionals are viewing the federal government as the employer of choice. Sometimes the only choice. At least for now...

Bottom line is that whether people are coming into government to serve, make a difference or give back (most oft cited reasons) many are coming into government and signing agreements that will keep them in government for at least three years.

In addition to being about the only place that's hiring these days, and also the place where one can make-a-difference, give-back or serve (choose one) Uncle Sam will pay off your student loans. Workers who qualify (and sign an agreement to stick around for at least 3 years) can get up to $10,000 per year to pay off a student loan, up to a maximum of $60,000 per qualified employee.

The most recent OPM report (fiscal year 2009) on the Student Loan Repayment Program shows that 40 of 89 agencies that responded did provide some loan relief, or had programs in place. The average student got $7,137 to pay off the loan. That's considered income for tax purposes, which pains some recipients, but it is better than the proverbial sharp stick in the eye.

Guess which occupations took advantage of the program? You are right if you said attorney, criminal investigator, intelligence community and contract specialists. Agencies reported people with those skills are the one's they want to attract and retain, so they got first consideration when it came time to decide who gets what and how much.

You can checkout the report here.

Arbitration Training

The Federal Labor Relations Authority will hold 2-day arbitration training programs September 13-14 Chicago and San Francisco and Washington, D.C. ( October 26-27). The training sessions are intended for federal and union practioners in grievance arbitration, and for arbitrators. To register you can call 202.218.7740 or email your name and contact info and training site preference to: TrainingRSVP@FLRA.gov

To reach me: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com


Nearly Useless Factoid
by Vyomika Jairam

The traffic jam on China's National Expressway 110 has left a 100 km (62 miles) backup outside of Beijing. The delay is entering its 10th day.


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