CIO Council plans online job fair

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"Filling the ranks"

The federal CIO Council will hold a weeklong nationwide "virtual IT job fair" in mid-April, aimed at hiring scores of new federal information technology employees, sources close to the council said.

The council will hold the virtual job fair either the week of April 15 or the week of April 22, according to an e-mail that the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils (FGIPC) sent to its members today.

Applicants will be asked to complete a screening questionnaire online, and then take a technology aptitude test and complete a skills inventory, both via the Web, according to sources.

After applicants complete those tasks, they will be assessed on their project management skills, and then ranked. "Agencies will then hire people from this list," according to an e-mail sent by FGIPC.

FGIPC members have been asked to attend a brainstorming meeting "in the next week or two" to help the CIO Council discuss a communications strategy, the e-mail said.

The online event — the first of its kind to be held cross-agency — will be modeled on two virtual job fairs that have been conducted previously by the State Department, according to sources on the CIO Council. The Office of Personnel Management will provide partial funding for the event, those sources said.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) sparked the idea for a virtual job fair earlier this year when he approached the council, asking for aid in helping the large number of unemployed IT professionals in his Northern Virginia district find jobs, the sources said.

Seeking IT professionals online — long a staple of the private sector — seems to be generating enthusiasm in the public sector as well. On March 4, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it has awarded a $103.4 million contract to provide a Web-based system for the recruitment and placement of airport personnel.

TSA plans to hire more than 30,000 federal security workers — including screeners and law enforcement officers — to meet the mandates of the Aviation Transportation Security Act signed by President Bush in November 2001.

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