By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
A poll of government employees determined that NASA and John C. Stennis Space Center rank among the best places to work within the federal government.
NASA ranked #1 in the category of large agencies within the federal government, while Stennis Space Center placed second among 292 other agency subcomponents.
To determine those rankings, the Partnership for Public Service conducted surveys in the spring of 2012 using only three questions. Those questions included whether an employee would recommend the organization as a good work place, if overall the employees were satisfied with their job and overall how satisfied each employee is with the organization.
Partnership for Public Service Vice President for Policy John Palguta said Stennis had one of the highest employee participation rates with the participating government agencies, and of those submissions 84.2 percent provided positive responses. In contrast, about 70 percent of employees in the private sector provided positive responses concerning their work place.
“So you guys blew right past the private sector,” Palguta said.
Liking a job is essential to being productive, Palguta said. Typically employees who hate their jobs still will show up to ensure they bring home paychecks, but those employees will not provide the best in productivity, he said.
The subcomponent agency within the federal government that had a better satisfaction rate than Stennis was the Army Audit Agency, with 85.7 percent of respondents providing a positive response, Palguta said.
Going on the second year of federal pay freezes, Palguta said it’s commendable that the employees at Stennis provided positive outlooks on their jobs.
“Your expenses have not stayed at zero I’m sure,” Palguta said.
Palguta then took a comment from President Barack Obama’s State of the Union where the head of state said, “It’s not a bigger government we need but a smarter government.”
“If the president is looking for a smarter government, you don’t have to look any further than NASA and Stennis Space Center,” Palguta said.
Dao Kooamphorn, a contract specialist with the Office of Procurement at Stennis, said she is happy with her job because of the upbeat atmosphere, friendly coworkers and support she gets from her managers. Those aspects of her job make her happy to come to work everyday, she said.