February's Southwest Region Government Technology Conference in Austin, Texas, brought together 13,000 state and local government officials, private-sector vendors and expert presenters to celebrate the successes of technology in government and to confront its most perplexing issues.

The capital region of Texas, for example, has no unemployment, and technology positions often go unfilled. One official -- discussing workforce issues at an Ingram Micro roundtable -- said that, while she believes her agency's Y2K conversion will be completed on time, she's 18 percent understaffed and is now paying 30 percent more for the same amount of programming, as salary demands escalate and staff shrinks. A number of seminars provided strategies for IT workforce training, recruiting and maintenance.

One industry keynoter, John Morgridge, chair of the board of Cisco Systems, had an interesting solution -- partner with schools and help train students in technology. Cisco has done so, establishing high school and college networking academies in 10 states. Some of the students are interning in government agencies.

The Internet is also offering new opportunities for inexpensive staff training and public service, said Rob Glaser, president and CEO of RealNetworks. On the Internet, said Glaser, anyone can run his or her own newspaper, radio station or TV station with a global audience, no licenses, no FCC and no shortage of channels. And agencies' interactive voice response systems, he said, can provide ready-made audio for Internet-based public information systems.

The first Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship was presented to Billy Hamilton, former deputy comptroller for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Y2K Summit

Also in February, Government Technology and the California Department of Information Technology produced the first California Statewide Intergovernmental Summit on Y2K. concerning the gloomy prospect of potential litigation over Y2K failures, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape Communications, took a look at the bright side of the problem, reminding officials that conversion will help advance the state's technology and prepare for more advanced systems to come.

1.California CIO John Thomas Flynn makes the opening remarks at the California Statewide Intergovernmental Summit on Year 2000. 2. California Assemblywoman Elaine White Alquist at Y2K Summit. 3. Stephen Rosales, special executive assistant to Lt. Gov Bob Bullock, presents the first Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship to Billy Hamilton, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts at GTC Southwest. 4. Becky Huntress, BDM International, Bill Grabo, Texas Higher Education Coordination Board, Doris Grabo and Tommy Huntress, Paradigm Systems consultant. 5. Marc Andreessen, founder and COO of Netscape Communications, at the Y2K Summit. Also at GTC Southwest: 6.Virginia Carter, Rep. Bill Carter, Texas state Sen. Tom Haywood and Trey Powers, legislative aide to Sen. Haywood 7. Mike Fernandez, director, IS Texas Workforce Commission and Diana Williamson, deputy commissioner, MIS Texas Dept of Human Services 8. Melinda Benavidez, associate deputy director, Texas General Services Commission and Brian Ogawa, director, Crime Victims Institute, Texas Attorney General's Office 9. Carol Alvarez, systems manager, Indiana IS Division and David Gragen, director, Central Procurement, Texas General Services Commission. 10. Arkansas Dept. of IS Jerry Pack, director, enterprise systems and Rick Johnson, director, workgroup systems. 11. Gigi Edwards and Daffney Henry, assistant executive director, Texas Dept. of Transportation 12. Peter Stamison, director, California Dept. of General Services, Demetra Dickens, district manager, Eastman Kodak and Bob Knight, Eastman Kodak 13. Texas Rep. Bill Carter and wife Virginia 14. Scott Trendt, Unisys and Debra Williams, director, IT Services Division, Texas Railroad Commission. 15. Nancy Vaughan, associate commissioner, Texas Education Agency and Claudia Langguth, Lockheed Martin 16. Joel Willemson, director, Information Resource Management Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, at Y2K Summit. 17. Brenda Lovett, Texas Workforce Commission, Jose Camacho, special assistant to Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock and Texas Rep. Bob Hunter. 18. Carolyn Purcell, executive director, Texas Dept. of Information Resources, Peter Stamison, George Boersma, deputy director, Michigan Dept. of Management and Budget and David Gragen, director of Central Procurement, Texas General Services Commission. 19. Sen. Tom Haywood and Mark Onderko, Dell 20. Mary Scott Nabers, Strategic Partnerships and Claudia Langguth. 21. Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers, Standards and Education Executive Director Jim Dozier and Chief Edward Laine. 22. Edward Erxleben, purchasing director, Arizona State Purchasing Dept. with wife Gwyneth. 23. Dwight Burns, executive aide to Austin City Councilman Willie Lewis with wife Ursula. 24. Roddy Seekins, deputy executive administrator, Texas Water Development Board and Skye Henize. 25. Arlene Boeger, GTC National Sales Director and Robert McQuade, director, Special Programs, Arizona Dept. of IS.

April Table of Contents

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