Editorial: People power

Life for federal workers has changed dramatically. Once a more comfortable, laid-back environment when compared with private-sector jobs, feds now find that they must fight for and justify their jobs.

In recent decades, change has become more rapid for federal workers. And the Internet Age has quickened the pace.

More change is on the horizon. The federal workforce is graying, and many employees are expected to leave the government during the next five years.

In Federal Computer Week's July 25 issue, we published the results of a survey of federal information technology workers. It provides some insights about the best and worst agencies for IT workers. Beyond that, the survey shows what keeps feds satisfied and what makes them dissatisfied.

FCW asked several experts to advise agencies on how to recruit and retain top-notch employees.

In the pages that follow, they offer their assessments.

  • Harold Gray, director of the Center for Professional Development at Howard University's School of Business, suggests ways the government can attract younger IT workers to the workforce.
  • Janet Barnes, deputy associate director of the Center for Information Services and chief information officer at the Office of Personnel Management, writes about the advantages of hiring young, energetic IT workers.
  • Marcia Marsh, vice president of government transformation at the Partnership for Public Service, looks at empowering human resources employees.
  • Jacqueline Simon, public policy director at the American Federation of Government Employees, discusses the potential pitfalls of new personnel systems at the Homeland Security and Defense departments.
  • And W. Frederick Thompson, vice president of management and technology at the Council for Excellence in Government, reflects on the differences between the public and private sectors.

— Christopher J. Dorobek

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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