Ed Friedrich, Kitsap Sun , KING
BREMERTON, Wash. — President Trump’s federal hiring freeze has not burdened the Kitsap Navy. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, after a pause, went right back to hiring, and hasn’t caught up to other programs.
The freeze was imposed on Jan. 23 for roughly 90 days for the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management to develop a long-term plan to reduce the federal workforce through attrition. On Feb. 2, the Department of Defense exempted shipyard jobs and 15 other functions as necessary for national security and public safety. After another week to figure out the process, the shipyard resumed hiring by requesting job waivers from the Secretary of the Navy.
As of March 3, it requested 2,478 waivers. Of those, 1,980 were approved and 498 are being processed. None were denied, according to shipyard commander Capt. Howard Markle. Among the approvals were a recruitment of 900 trainees and 414 workers who had been offered jobs but not a report date before the freeze kicked in. The shipyard has applied for a waiver to hire 272 people for the 2017 apprenticeship class.
The Navy’s Office of Civilian Human Resources streamlined the waiver process. Read more>>