Exceptional feds get recognized for their public service

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All federal employees this week will get a rare opportunity to get acknowledged for their work, with the kickoff of the Public Service Recognition Week. But one smaller group in particular will get extra time in the limelight, being honored for its outstanding contributions.

The Partnership for Public Service announced May 5 the 31 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists. Known as the Oscars of government service, the yearly awards highlight those who have made significant contributions. Finalists are named based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the effect of their work on addressing the nation’s needs.

This year’s honorees’ achievements run the gamut from space exploration and improved hurricane forecasting to creating new approaches to treat drug addiction and helping small businesses get capital to grow and create jobs. Both small and large government departments and agencies are represented by the finalists.

In addition to being honored at a ceremony May 7 as part of Public Service Recognition Week, the finalists are also contenders for eight Service to America Medals. Medal recipients will be announced Oct. 3 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C

In acknowledging the Public Service Recognition Week, President Barack Obama said federal employees are “committed to a cause greater than personal ambition” and take on the most pressing challenges.

“During Public Service Recognition Week, let us honor the contributions of our public servants and recommit to building a brighter future for the generations to come,” the president said.

For a full list of the finalists, see the 2013 Service to America Medal Finalists website.

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