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CIO Katrina Flory on Ohio’s Current and Future IT Workforce

At this week’s NASCIO conference in Seattle, Ohio Chief Information Officer Katrina Flory talked about an unexpected effect of the pandemic on IT staff, and how her state is preparing for future staffing needs.

Ohio Chief Information Officer Katrina Flory
Government Technology/David Kidd
SEATTLE — COVID-19 and the widespread shift to remote work reshaped the American workforce in significant ways. And at the NASCIO conference this week, state chief information officers were quick to praise their teams for their ability to quickly pivot and enable not only remote work but also the business of government to continue under extraordinary circumstances.

In Ohio, CIO Katrina Flory noted that the pandemic had the effect of delaying the retirements of many of the state's technical staff. But whether those jobs open up now or later, Flory wants to be ready to ensure she has a team with the necessary skills to keep the state's IT systems running.

One strategy Ohio uses to help fill the technology pipeline is an apprenticeship program for its IT security team in which people work in various areas of the security operation, in the hopes that they might apply for permanent jobs as they become available.

Flory also hopes to capture some returning state technical talent, who may be drawn back to the state after leaving for other opportunities earlier in their career.

"Now they're ready to come back because of the work-life balance that working for the state offers," she said.

Noelle Knell is the executive editor for e.Republic, responsible for setting the overall direction for e.Republic’s editorial platforms, including Government Technology, Governing, Industry Insider, Emergency Management and the Center for Digital Education. She has been with e.Republic since 2011, and has decades of writing, editing and leadership experience. A California native, Noelle 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.
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.