Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Memorandum Calling for a Review of the Development and Utilization of Young Career Trainees

October 10, 1968

Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies

We in the Federal Government have the responsibility--indeed the challenge--to attract talented young people to employment in the Federal service and to develop them to the highest level of their ability. At this time, that challenge is a particularly compelling one.

Young people today display an unprecedented desire for direct involvement and participation in the difficult problems facing our nation. If channelled fully, their energy, questioning spirit, and idealism could become critical forces in renewing and refreshing our governmental institutions.

In this age of constant change, yesterday's theories about career training soon become irrelevant to the needs and demands of the new generation. It is time to reexamine our assumptions; it is time for a fresher and closer look at our systems for recruiting, selecting, placing, training, and above all, utilizing career trainees.

I am, therefore, asking each department and agency to create a committee through which young trainees representing various disciplines and programs can review and evaluate all aspects of the systems through which they have become part of the Federal work force. Members of the committee should include representatives from:

1. the present and recent past career trainees.

2. your immediate staff

3. your personnel office

4. line managers and supervisors who have worked with career trainees.

The director of your committee should be an individual who is genuinely interested in the development of young people, who can effectively direct the committee's operations and who can keep you regularly informed of its progress.

I suggest four questions for initial exploration:

1. through what channels does your agency insure that the ideas and suggestions of young employees are solicited and considered by the managers with authority to act?

2. to what extent do career trainees participate directly in the design of their training programs and in the structure and content of their work assignments?

3. to what extent can young people working in the Federal government serve as a link between the government and the student community?

4. how can minority group participation in career trainee programs be increased?

I am asking the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission to coordinate the efforts of all the agency committees. He will be in touch with you very soon concerning this study.


Lyndon B. Johnson, Memorandum Calling for a Review of the Development and Utilization of Young Career Trainees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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