2020 Presidential Budget Recap: Training & Talent Take Center Stage



It’s that time of year–not for spring–but for the delivery of the Presidential budget. The current federal budget law (31 U.S.C. § 1105(a)) requires that the President submit the budget between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in February. In the case of President Trump, his budget plan made it to Congress on February 11th with much to explore from a workforce perspective.

One of the key announcements made by OMB as part of the budget going public included a sizable commitment to training. “We have made a firm commitment to reskilling up to and possibly exceeding 400,000 federal workers, focused on first and foremost jobs where we have a hard time filling roles,” Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.

The end goal is to reskill about 20% of the existing workforce of 2.1 million people in the data science and analytics, cybersecurity, IT and project management fields. From an execution standpoint, this will be a joint effort between OPM, OMB and GSA; however, the initiative is to be funded at the agency level.

Hiring–rather the process of hiring–also received notice in the budget. It calls for the expansion of a program launched by U.S. Digital Service to expedite the hiring process. It involved dropping the “federal resume” requirement for the standard, two-page format, and adjusting the interview process to include subject matter expert participation to gauge qualification. The pilot program increased the number of qualified candidates and dramatically reduced the time from posting to hire. Currently, the standard timing is 47-days. This program had new staff selected in eleven days for HHS and 17 for the Department of Interior. The government is looking to expand this practice to six other agencies in the coming year. 

The blueprint also addressed the exodus of members of the workforce. It’s anticipated that 34,000 employees will leave government service in FY21 with a large majority coming from the Census Bureau and its temporary team. Despite that large figure and the blueprint alluding to tasks being reassigned to technology, the administration believes most Cabinet-level agencies will see an increase in headcount. 

To read more on the President’s budget proposal and vision for the workforce, visit here.



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