ETNF * Requesting Support Letter from a Federal Agency Template:

ETNF – Requesting Support Letter from a Federal Agency Template:
February 8, 2012
Dear ________________,
Please take a few moments to learn about how you might contribute to stimulating the American
economy by increasing the diversity and value of the engineering workforce. The portion of the
field of engineering that has traditionally been centered on the practical and applied end of the
spectrum has been referred to as engineering technology. This segment of the workforce has
existed as a separate profession since the early 1960’s. Since this time, it has transitioned through
periods of both rapid growth and slow decline. However, throughout its existence, it has suffered
from a lack of visibility and understanding by most all constituencies.
The Engineering Technology Division (ETD) and the Engineering Technology Council (ETC) of
the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) have joined together to launch an
initiative to address this situation. The initiative has several different strategies to address
different facets of the underlying issues. One important facet is the current manner in which the
Federal Government classifies positions in the spectrum of the engineering work force. Currently
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standard 0800 for Engineering
classifies positions under this standard primarily as either “engineer” or “technician”. The four
year degrees in engineering technology are principally excluded from this classification system.
Therefore, an important component of the available engineering workforce is left out of the
federal government’s classification system. Therefore, many competent and work-ready
professionals have limited access to government careers and look for employment elsewhere.
This situation limits the attractiveness of government careers to engineering technology
graduates and also carries over to many of the industries that work closely with the federal
agencies that hire the largest number of engineering professions.
In US business and industry, this situation generally does not occur. In a recent survey of 200
employers of engineering and engineering technology graduates, it was found that the majority
do not differentiate between the two degree classifications when hiring engineers. Individuals are
hired and advanced based on what they know and how they achieve in the workplace. Based on
this survey and other work, the ETD and ETC groups would like an opportunity to meet with the
OPM to review this standard to determine if it continues to be effective for today’s global
competitive environment. Leaders from ETD and ETC have been in contact with the officers of
the OPM and their stance is that Qualification Standard 0800 does not need to be reviewed
unless the customers) government agencies employing engineers and technicians request that it
be reviewed. We would like to ask your support in asking the OPM to perform this review. If
you would be willing to write a letter of support for this effort, we would certainly appreciate it.
Thank you in advance for your time.