Virtual IT job fair on hold

The second virtual information technology job fair has been put on hold -- at least until Congress passes agencies' fiscal 2003 appropriations bills.

More than 19,300 people applied for IT jobs with the federal government during the first nationwide virtual IT job fair April 22-26. The success of that job fair, which was co-hosted by the Office of Personnel Management and the CIO Council, motivated officials to plan a similar event.

However, the budget impasse has put those plans on hold at least temporarily, according to Ira Hobbs, co-chairman of the CIO Council's Workforce for Human Capital and IT Committee. So far, only two fiscal 2003 appropriations bills have become law -- one funding the Defense Department and one funding military construction.

Without knowing how much money they will have and how that relates to funded positions, agencies aren't able to kick off hiring campaigns and bring in new hires, Hobbs said. "The concept works and works well," he said. "But we don't want to put on a job fair with only a few people participating."

Hobbs said he hopes that the virtual IT job fair becomes a regular event that involves more and more agencies. Twenty-one agencies and departments took part in the first virtual IT job fair.

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