Treasury to expand e-learning

The Treasury Department soon will launch a Web site offering workers thechance to take free courses from their desks.

Prompted by the success of a 5-year-old Internal Revenue Service virtuallearning site, the department will expand the program and offer it to everyemployee.

The site will offer hundreds of courses, including training on MicrosoftCorp. Windows 2000 and Web design, as well as technology-based consultingand hosting services.

Patricia McCormick, project leader for the IRS' School of InformationTechnology in Austin, Texas, said employees would be able to take any ofthese courses at their desks. Officials are still trying to work out detailsof how Treasury employees can take the courses when they are at home orat another site.

Treasury also hopes to expand the program to all of government, McCormick said Tuesday at the Treasury 2001 IT conference in Washington D.C., sponsored by the Treasury Department and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Online training courses designed to meet an agency's specific needsare gaining popularity among federal managers struggling to balance a skillsand worker shortage with decreasing funds for training and travel. The SocialSecurity Administration, the military and law enforcement agencies alsoare experimenting with online training.

More than 50,000 employees took courses via the IRS learning site in2000.

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