General Services Administration (GSA) Deputy CIO Beth Killoran said at a May 7 GSA webinar that the agency is looking ahead to the “potential opportunity” to boost the Federal government’s IT workforce after the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Considering some recent Federal IT workforce success stories, Killoran said that GSA may have the chance “to look at the workforce that we need for the future within the Federal government, especially around IT, and figure out how we can identify the skills that establish some of the career paths.”

She continued that the Federal government may “then work with some of those other communities to potentially rescale our citizens and recruit them into these key Federal jobs.”

Killoran admitted that one workforce challenge the Federal government faces is competition with the private sector when tapping into the IT talent pool. She said that the government can’t match private sector pay, but Federal agencies can promote the value of working for a mission.

Within the agency, Killoran said that GSA is working to engage current employees on projects with mission impacts to help retain staff.

“We really have been looking at the totality of what it takes to not only develop people … but then potentially retain them,” she said.

GSA is working on reskilling and upskilling the current Federal workforce in issues such as cloud and cybersecurity. Killoran said that GSA has a “fairly robust training budget” to supply individual employees within the agency with the skills that they need. The agency has also taken new approaches to training such as YouTube-style video trainings on specific capabilities and rotations within the organization to help expose employees to different skills.

“We are partnering people that have these skills with the people that we are developing so they can do some level of mentorship,” Killoran said.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.