The commonwealth of Kentucky has some of the country's worst-funded pensions. As Chief Information Officer Charles Grindle explained at last week's National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear conference in Baltimore, that reality has led state leaders to rely more heavily on contract staff. "We over the years have been transitioning to a contracted workforce," Grindle said.
And while the increased number of contracted employees has lessened the future pension burden, it also means there are fewer full-time staff to pay into the pension fund and help move it toward solvency.
Thankfully, for Grindle, a significant number of IT staff that retire from state service choose to come back as contract employees, helping to fill critical roles and ensure continuity in the organization. But that's not the only strategy Kentucky is using to backfill talent gaps. Officials are also involved in outreach efforts aimed at generating interest from the younger generation in public service.
"We've started to work with K-12 and then also with the local colleges on internships to try to build in some of that millennial talent and bring them into the commonwealth," he said.