CIOs ramp up mentoring

The CIO Council last week formally launched its governmentwide mentoring program and listed a host of assignments available to information technology professionals.

Through the program, mentors receive help on special projects and playa role in the career development of their proteges. The proteges get a chance to work on challenging projects, work with IT leaders and broaden their perspective, according to the council.

Posted on the council's Web site (www.cio.gov) are descriptions of mentoring assignments that last from several months to a year. Many of the jobs are with the council's IT Workforce Committee. Among the jobs posted:

    * Work on developing a Web-based career-planning tool for federal IT workers.

    * Support efforts to publicize the National Academy of Public Administration IT pay study.

    * Implement the CIO Council's High School Outreach program.

    * Work on e-government projects, including cross-agency portals.

During the first year of the mentoring program, the co-chairmen of the council's five committees will be mentors to proteges from agencies across government. The program offers assignments primarily to midlevel IT professionals but is open to all grades.

The program is essential to retention, said Gloria Parker, CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "We cannot retain our IT professionals if we don't develop them," she said.

It also complements other workforce initiatives under way, such as pay and compensation, said Tom Horan, acting deputy associate administrator for IT in the General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy, who manages the program.

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