Government agencies are increasingly expected to provide more and higher levels of services for citizens with fewer resources.

This difficult balancing act requires that government executives maximize the effectiveness of agency transformation efforts. Government agencies use technology to increase the efficiency of their services, but rapid changes in technology create a need for additional training to help the workforce remain current in their knowledge and application of new innovations.

Professors Petter and Giddens note that as organizational roles evolve and require new skills and knowledge, government agencies need to address the ever-growing information technology skills gap in their workforce by reskilling employees. One way to address the skills gap involves technology-oriented training programs. These programs enable individuals to learn new skills about systems and applications to solve problems in new or evolving organizational roles.

In this new report, the authors assess two technology-oriented training programs in which organizations set out to reskill members of a workforce with technical skills needed to conduct their jobs effectively or move into new roles. The report defines effective technology-oriented training as a transfer of technical, functional, and contextual knowledge to the workplace after training. The case studies are the DeliverFund’s Counter Human Trafficking Intelligence Operations Course and Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy. Each program uses a range of methods and components to deliver technologyoriented training to employees. The authors outline the benefits and limitations of each program as to their ability to facilitate the transfer of training.

Based on these case studies, the authors offer recommendations so that agencies can better achieve effective technology-oriented training outcomes when reskilling employees. Each recommendation supports one of the three practices:

  • Selecting Individuals for Technology-Oriented Training Readiness: Choosing the right employees to engage in technology-oriented training programs for reskilling.
  • Designing or Choosing Technology-Oriented Training Programs Appropriately: Selecting or creating technology-oriented training programs with essential elements needed for successful outcomes.
  • Providing Agency Support for Employees Post-Training: Supporting the employee to use the skills learned post-training to benefit from the investment.

Petter and Giddens acknowledge that government agencies seeking to increase their staffs’ technology-oriented skill sets can expect to face challenges as they seek to achieve effective training outcomes. However, their research indicates that organizations can achieve more positive outcomes from technology-oriented training
when seeking to reskill their workforce.

As agencies engage in digital transformations, the workforce must also transform by reskilling to maintain and effectively use new technology. We hope that the cases studies, insights, and recommendations outlined in this report will help government agencies succeed in developing and reskilling the workforce of the future.