Emily Knouse has worked for the Energy Department for 35 years. In her current position as Senior Management Analyst in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, she helps the office maintain a highly-qualified workforce. | Energy Department photo.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Since 1977, the people of the U.S. Department of Energy have been delivering the science, innovation and expertise required to advance America's energy, economic and national security. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of this important endeavor, Energy.gov is featuring stories from a few of the Department’s longest serving employees.
As a Senior Management Analyst within the Office of the Chief Information Officer, I’ve worked at the Energy Department for 35 years. Before that, I worked at the Atomic Energy Commission, which became the Energy Research and Development Administration, which later became part of the Energy Department.
I got my start in the federal government following graduation from high school, when I decided I wanted to pursue a clerical career. At the time, the Atomic Energy Commission annually solicited students from local schools to apply for clerk-typist and clerk-stenography positions. It sounded perfect to me, since at the time I lived in Damascus, Maryland, and the Germantown facility was close by. I was originally drawn to the benefits the Federal Government offered their employees – and so I began my career as a GS-3 clerk-steno.
Since this was my very first “real” job, I remember being concerned about how a “country girl” like myself would fit into a government agency. Everyone dressed and acted very professionally -- all the women wore dresses and heels, and the men wore suits. The first week of my employment involved very intense training, which included everything from typing memos/letters, the importance of concurrences, carbon copies with colored paper, as well as how to answer phones and take messages.
In the days before e-mail, fax, tablet and voicemail, I remember taking hand-written messages and using the electric typewriter. If the supervisor changed something in the correspondence, I would have to retype the entire thing ... with no mistakes. In addition, all employees required a “Q” security clearance before employment could begin.
In my current position as a Senior Level Management Analyst in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, I appreciate the learning opportunities I’ve had during my time at the department, which have allowed me to gain extensive skills in the area of human resources. As part of a team responsible for supporting the human resources management function within the Office of the Chief Information Officer, my job is to help maintain a highly qualified workforce in support of ongoing and future operations.
I’m grateful for my time here at the Department. Like many Federal employees, I am proud of my service, and hope that I've contributed to the future of the country. Though I’ve seen many changes in the department (including employees smoking inside their offices and the various name changes of the Energy Department has undergone through the years) – I feel that the people and dedication to energy, science and nuclear security have always remained.