Environmental Protection Agency

A Workforce for Today & Tomorrow, not Yesterday

The world is changing at an ever-accelerating pace, presenting new problems and opportunities in rapid fire with which the Government is progressively hard-pressed to effectively contend. One of Government's biggest challenges is quickly adapting the skill mix it can bring to bear in performing the public's business. Many of the Government's current employees who were hired to solve yesterday's problems are simply ill-suited to address the issues of today and tomorrow. With the impending bulge in retirement of baby boomers also comes a unique opportunity to make Government more agile and efficient. Proposed here is an approach to redirect some significant portion of new hires otherwise heading into permanent career status onto a new employment pathway where positions have 5-, 10- and/or 15-year terms, based on current and especially projected needs. Employees in this new program would receive all the benefits of 'permanent' employees, but would be subject to special periodic review aligned with their term to determine their retention and/or conversion to permanent status. This more flexible approach would not only allow agencies to more dynamically adjust the skill mix of their workforce to meet prevailing and future demands, but would provide greater, more easily targeted buffering capacity to absorb budget fluctuations.

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Idea No. 9924