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.
Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.
Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.