Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Federal Chief Financial Officers Council (CFOC) and the 24 largest federal agencies, issued a first-of-its-kind Request for Information (RFI) seeking applications from innovative learning content providers. This outreach will extend to online universities, business education content holders, tech companies, and talent development vendors in order to help revolutionize the federal government’s approach to workforce modernization and upskilling.
“We really hope innovative learning content providers take note of this unique opportunity and consider applying,” said GSA Office of Government-wide Policy Associate Administrator Krystal Brumfield. “We’ve structured this to be very low risk for them and the commercial opportunity for any selected providers has the potential to be wide open.”
This RFI leverages the federal financial management community, which has approximately 140,000 employees, as a test population in a broader effort to accelerate the rollout of agile and innovative approaches for upskilling the federal workforce. It seeks participation from learning content providers who wish to partner with the CFO Council to provide pay-for access to content that aligns with 54 competency areas with emphasis on data, technology, and financial management skills.
As envisioned, the federal government seeks, through this pilot effort, to create a tool where employees can identify their individual knowledge gaps and purchase best-in-class education content.
“The CFO Council has historically been an important idea generator, and this latest initiative is another great example of its leadership,” said OMB Office of Federal Financial Management Deputy Controller Deidre A. Harrison. “Not only has this new pilot effort been driven up from agencies and required very little upfront investment, but it can be quickly scaled to larger segments of the federal workforce if successful.”
If this limited-in-scale approach is successful in attracting effective, reasonably priced upskilling content, this model could be expanded to larger segments of the federal workforce, which currently consists of 2.1M employees.
This approach has been designed to be enticing to education providers, including tech companies and online universities looking for a new way to work in the government space. Using a novel “trusted provider” strategy, this approach creates a flexible teaming relationship with a select group of interested education providers.
This approach also seeks to address a significant challenge that confronts both the public and commercial sectors. The pace of technological change is disrupting the workforce. By providing access to best-in-class training to its employees, the government seeks to give them tools to improve their knowledge and skills, thrive in the knowledge economy, and ultimately provide better services to the American public. The federal financial community looks forward to sharing lessons learned from this initiative and to collaborating with states, employers, and private sector partners involved in this program to further develop solutions and provide for an upskilled workforce across multiple sectors.
Applications to become a part of this exciting and groundbreaking effort will only be accepted until December 16, 2021. Interested parties can review the full RFI and application package at: https://www.cfo.gov/workforce-modernization/application-guidance/
This initiative has been identified as a Biden-Harris administration priority.