Principal U.S. Mint Deputy Director Matthew Rhett Jeppson provided
few answers to members of the Senate
Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs during a hearing
March 15 considering his nomination as 39th director of the United States Mint.
That's because committee members asked him few questions. They were
too busy grilling two nominees being considered as commissioners on
the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lisa M. Fairfax and Hester
Before each member of the Senate committee opened individual
questioning of Fairfax and Peirce, they thanked Jeppson for his 28
years of combined active and reserve military service with the U.S.
Marine Corps, from which he retired in January.
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Jeppson fielded questions posed only by the committee's chairman, Sen.
Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Sen. Sherrod
Brown, D-Ohio, the committee's ranking Democrat. Before any
questions were asked, Jeppson read a prepared statement.
Shelby asked Jeppson about the future of the U.S. Mint and coins.
Jeppson said the U.S. Mint expects to produce and supply the Federal
Reserve with 15 billion coins over the next 12 months for circulation.
Jeppson said a recent decline in numismatic sales is attributable to a
drop in disposable income and a change in customer demographics.
Jeppson said the Mint has extended its outreach to broaden its
Brown cited the Mint's aging workforce and asked Jeppson what steps
are being taken to assure qualified individuals are secured to address
attrition through retirement and changes in technology.
Jeppson said a 30 percent turnover in the Mint's current workforce
over the next six years is expected. He said the Mint is aggressively
recruiting outside the Mint, after first providing new skills training
and cross training in technical areas to those already employed in
production and development positions within the Mint, to ensure
against gaps in needed personnel. Recruitment is being conducted for
personnel in such areas as die setting, heat treating and the Mint's
engraving staff, he said.
Should Jeppson's nomination be voted out of committee, it would then
go before the full Senate for a vote.