IT workforce panel to focus on training

A federal information technology panel will focus on providing the government's IT workforce with more training and a career "roadmap" to boost recruitment and retention, according to the panel's co-chair.

The Chief Information Officers Council, which has focused on pay and hiring issues for IT workers in the past year, is planning to make training for project managers and career development programs for employees high priorities, said Ira Hobbs, acting CIO at the Agriculture Department and co-chair of the council's workforce and human capital for IT committee.

Hobbs told reporters during a Tuesday conference call that he is working with an interagency team to develop an online roadmap to guide employees who want to improve their IT skills.

"We are looking for an automated tool that will help people.… They will be able to access it at their desktop no matter where they are in government," Hobbs said.

Hobbs comments came during a discussion about feedback on an August 2001 study from the National Academy of Public Administration which concluded that the government needs to use more pay and hiring flexibilities to compete with the private sector for IT workers.

The NAPA report recommended that the federal government "establish a market-based, pay-for-performance compensation system" with broad pay ranges and raises based on increases in competency to attract and retain IT workers.

The NAPA report has received 31 comments so far, which have been summarized and are available through the CIO Council Web site. "The comments were very supportive--often personal horror stories of what is going on it their own organizations," Hobbs said. "By and large, they were very positive and very supportive of the report itself."

Hobbs said the committee would continue working with key organizations, such as the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget, to promote NAPA's recommendations.

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