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Civic Engagement--Large and Small
Unformatted Document Text:  and from “Generation X” members (born before 1980) who are late settling into long- term career choices (Doverspike, et al. 2000). Information technology is an area in which employees are in high demand and the public sector is at a competitive disadvantage. As a result, it has been an area for significant succession planning innovation. Nebraska trains state employees to move into information technology (IT) positions. Texas allows retiring IT staff to continue working and receive both their full paycheck and full retirement benefits (Pynes 2004). When Pennsylvania contracted out operation of mainframe computer systems, it retrained over 300 furloughed workers to support emerging technologies where state employees were still needed. Many received promotions in the process (Helton and Soubik 2004). Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation implemented a succession plan for technically skilled employees. One successful element of this program has been a process in which groups of senior employees formally document their jobs to help pass along knowledge and to identify training gaps in those who will replace them (Rothwell and Poduch 2004). Kansas has retained IT employees by converting them to contract employees and increasing their salaries. It also rewards employees for recruiting new peers into hard to fill positions and pays bonuses for acquiring essential skills and completing projects. Some California governments encourage telecommuting and invest heavily in relocation costs for new employees, including home loan assistance for new top managers (DeMers 2002). Workforce and succession planning, however, is far from universal. Sixty-three percent of government human resources managers surveyed in 2003 indicated their organization did not have a workforce plan. Respondents in non-planning organizations 11

Authors: Colnic, David. and Shinn, Paul.
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and from “Generation X” members (born before 1980) who are late settling into long-
term career choices (Doverspike, et al. 2000).
Information technology is an area in which employees are in high demand and the
public sector is at a competitive disadvantage. As a result, it has been an area for
significant succession planning innovation. Nebraska trains state employees to move into
information technology (IT) positions. Texas allows retiring IT staff to continue working
and receive both their full paycheck and full retirement benefits (Pynes 2004). When
Pennsylvania contracted out operation of mainframe computer systems, it retrained over
300 furloughed workers to support emerging technologies where state employees were
still needed. Many received promotions in the process (Helton and Soubik 2004).
Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation implemented a succession plan for
technically skilled employees. One successful element of this program has been a process
in which groups of senior employees formally document their jobs to help pass along
knowledge and to identify training gaps in those who will replace them (Rothwell and
Poduch 2004). Kansas has retained IT employees by converting them to contract
employees and increasing their salaries. It also rewards employees for recruiting new
peers into hard to fill positions and pays bonuses for acquiring essential skills and
completing projects. Some California governments encourage telecommuting and invest
heavily in relocation costs for new employees, including home loan assistance for new
top managers (DeMers 2002).
Workforce and succession planning, however, is far from universal. Sixty-three
percent of government human resources managers surveyed in 2003 indicated their
organization did not have a workforce plan. Respondents in non-planning organizations
11


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