Jeppson receives few questions during hearing for U.S. Mint director

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
By , Coin World
Published : 03/16/16
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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 Maria Peirce.

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 customer base.

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.

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