GSA creates training program for IT workers to hone thinking skills

GSA creates training program for IT workers to hone thinking skills

Agencies will get a real result from the new STAR training program for strategic planning, GSA's Emory Miller says.

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

The General Services Administration next month will kick off its training program to help government information technology workers develop strategic thinking skills.

The Strategic and Tactical Advocates for Results program, spearheaded by GSA and the Chief Information Officers Council's IT Work Force Committee, will provide IT workers with the skills they need for this new environment, said Emory Miller, director of IT professional development in GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy.

STAR is a follow-on to GSA's 11-year-old Trail Boss program [GCN, May 10, Page 55] and will launch its first pilot seminars in November and December. But one significant change is that STAR will not focus on IT specifically but stress strategic and tactical issues, said Nora Rice, GSA's STAR program manager.

The Trail Boss program focuses on IT acquisition and management, Miller said, but broader skills are necessary.

Helping federal workers improve skills is critical to agency efforts to retain key workers, said Gloria R. Parker, Housing and Urban Development Department CIO and co-chairwoman of the IT Work Force Committee. Programs such as STAR and the CIO University [GCN, Aug. 30, Page 1] are key elements of the government's plan to attract and keep workers.

STAR is a resident seminar program of two one-week sessions, the first in November and the second in December. The sessions will feature experts in five subjects.

The session on security, for example, will be led by the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. A session on technology will be led by the Meta Group Inc. of Stamford, Conn., and explore trends in technology and how those trends fit into agencies' needs.

A session on government will be led by Georgetown University's Government Affairs Institute and will help program managers unravel the thinking on Capitol Hill, supply pointers on how to work with congressional staff and explain the budget process.

A key element of STAR is that agencies will get a real result from the program, Miller said. Participants will work to apply the classroom theory to real-world situations.

More information can be found online at


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