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Terry Gerton, President & CEO of NAPA, goes over recommendations for how the next administration can address the country’s major challenges

The presidential transition will bring an opportunity for the next administration to prioritize recruiting and retaining the federal workforce. Terry Gerton, President and CEO at the National Academy of Public Administration, spoke with “Government Matters” about NAPA’s Election 2020 project and the resources the Academy has provided for the next administration.

“I’m really thrilled to highlight our election 2020 project. The Academy has been working on this for almost a year and we released the full suite of 16 papers … related to our Grand Challenges,” Gerton said.

The papers cover topics such as modernizing and reinvigorating the public workforce, protecting data and preparing the government to utilize emerging technologies. Each of the papers lists recommendations for the first year of the next administration.

The National Academy for Public Administration recommends modernizing and reinvigorating the public workforce by building interest in public service and government as a career.

“We’re following on here the recommendations of the National Commission on National Military and Public Service where they really advocated, based on their three-year commission work, a whole campaign that reimagines and reintroduces public service to the people across the country…” Gerton said.

She said the Commission found that most people don’t know how to get engaged in the public sector workforce.

“I think it’s one thing to say we want to introduce more people to the public sector as a career opportunity, but that doesn’t work if we don’t fix the hiring and onboarding and retention pieces as well,” Gerton said.

NAPA also recommends improving the quality of managers and supervisors in government, implementing modern assessment processes and refocusing the Office of Personnel Management with an emphasis on responsiveness and flexibility in talent management.

“The talent management piece is really important so there’s a strategic approach to career development and individual development. That’s essential if you want to satisfy the desires of the 21st century workforce,” she said. “[OPM needs] to be a central policy shop that’s really driving innovation across all of the agencies regardless of which personnel system they’re under.” Gerton said consistency in leadership is key to reforms at OPM.

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