Matthew Cornelius, Executive Director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation
The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI) congratulates the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on twin efforts to increase the skills and capabilities of the Federal cybersecurity workforce. Improving the skills of the current Federal IT and cybersecurity workforce, as well as making it easier to attract and hire new, highly skilled Federal employees will only improve the way the government and its technology partners collaborate and drive quality mission outcomes.
OMB’s new Open Opportunities for the Federal Cyber Reskilling Program (FCRP) is an excellent pathway to drive newly trained, capable talent to in-demand jobs at agencies in need. The FCRP was a catalyzing pilot project which showed quick and desirable outcomes for Federal employees looking to pivot to cybersecurity roles – and the lessons learned can now expand to all Federal agencies as they attempt to conduct their own reskilling assessments internally.
To go from pilot to scale, sound policies and governance are necessary. OPM’s recent guidance on Assessment Guidelines (required by Executive Order 13870) is a critical tool that can help move agencies towards a “show, don’t tell” model when evaluating technical talent in potential hires. America’s future cybersecurity leaders, whether in more operational or policy-related roles, need strong cognitive capabilities and technical acumen to succeed. By taking a “whole of person” approach to recruitment, agencies are more likely to hire qualified individuals who can meet constantly changing security and mission needs and deliver a better, safer digital experience to citizens.
Technology, no matter how thoughtful or sophisticated, is only as good as the people who can competently and strategically leverage it. ADI members understand that the best way they can support Federal agencies and drive true digital transformation is by having strong Federal leaders as partners. Through the complimentary efforts of OMB and OPM, at both the program and policy level, the government is now better positioned to recruit, retrain, and retain the kinds of technically proficient and managerially adept professionals who can effectively leverage commercial technology and cybersecurity capabilities to deliver high quality citizen services and protect taxpayer’s data.
ADI members have long supported great partnerships between industry and the government to ensure current and future Federal employees are extremely qualified and able to partner with the technology community to deliver effective outcomes. As part of ADI’s Workforce of the Future efforts, we will continue to find enterprising opportunities for collaboration with Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent and OPM Leadership to support the continued skills-based growth of the Federal IT and cybersecurity workforce.