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Building and Retraining our Federal Workforce for Tomorrow


November is National Career Development Month and there’s no better time to share what the Administration is doing to help reskill and retrain our Federal workforce to better serve the American people for the 21st century.

To lay the foundation needed to address these challenges, we developed a 21st century workforce strategy as outlined in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), which was released earlier this year. This laid out our plan to modernize the Federal government, focusing on mission, service and stewardship to protect taxpayers and better serve the American people.

OMB recently held a workforce symposium at the White House, which brought together government, industry and academic leaders to generate ideas and discuss the challenges the Federal government currently faces as the nation’s largest workforce.

The conclusions drawn from those discussions are clear: we need to reduce the skills-gaps so our workforce is better aligned to the needs of the 21st century. But how do we do that? With every modernization action we take, we must be both mission-driven and people-driven; those actions and practices will focus on a common sense of purpose and mission; and that they will engage employees, stakeholders, and other related parties in that shared purpose and mission.

It’s no easy task, but it works. We’ve seen it work:

In one interesting example, the IRS closed several service centers, and each of those centers had between 3,000 and 5,000 employees. Most of the people at the centers were doing data entry. When the centers were closed, the data transcription function was no longer needed. Rather than let the employees go, the IRS prepared for the transition by providing training to the impacted employees. The goal was to prepare the people for the future and the changing nature of work.

This is a great model for how we can help align the skills of our workforce to modern needs, while ensuring our dedicated employees continue to have great opportunities.

Just like the private sector, it’s imperative that the Federal government can #BeCareerReady. We are excited to take on real action as we address the issues facing us. To learn more about how we’re aligning staff skills with evolving mission needs, visit today!