Eating Our Babies?

If Uncle Sam has a New Year’s resolution, maybe he should stop chewing his digits? No, I’m not talking about nail biting, I’m talking about digital natives. The Washington Post tells us folks under 30 represent just seven percent of the Federal workforce – the low-water mark in over a decade. For context, one quarter of the U.S. workforce is under 30. And, the government’s bleeding babies – nine percent of folks flying the Fed coop in 2013 were millennials. If we’re looking for new ideas in government, we’re going to need fresh DNA. We’ve heard plenty about the Silver Tsunami – what about the Millennial Monsoon? Sequestration, pay freezes, the civil smear, and economic recovery have hurt the government’s millennial mojo.

Mighty Moran

And, as we talk about challenges with the government workforce – and people quitting government – it seems appropriate to tip the hat to the young at heart – Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va). Just this week, I had the honor to travel with Jim on his last day as a Congressman. After 30+ years in public service – as the Mayor of Alexandria and 24 years in the Congress – Jim Moran has elected to bow out. On travel, we ate together at a restaurant – and Jim insisted on clearing the dishes himself. No hubris here. What a gentleman – and advocate for Federal employees. Jim Moran, thank you for your service. You will be missed in Congress – but we know you’re not stepping away from our community, there’s still work to be done.

Short pour this week. But in this weather, a warm cup of IT should do you good. Wishing you the very best for 2015.

Steve O'Keeffe
About Steve O'Keeffe
The most connected executive in the government technology community – O'Keeffe is an accomplished entrepreneur and tech-policy expert, with 30 years’ experience as an innovator at the crossroads of government and industry. He founded MeriTalk, O'Keeffe & Company, 300Brand, among other entities. O'Keeffe is a fixture on the Hill, in both the House and Senate, testifying on IT, budget, government workforce, and the requirement to modernize government IT to enhance outcomes for the American people and government employees. He is a champion for change, simplification, transparency, and clear communication of IT value without jargon. A committed philanthropist, O'Keeffe has served for 15 years on the USO-Metro Board of Directors – Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Annual Awards Dinner. He started his career as a journalist – O'Keeffe has contributed to The Economist, Government Executive, Signal Magazine, The Washington Post, and, of course, MeriTalk.