The Federal Government promotes the Nation’s prosperity, health, and security through research and development conducted by the highly skilled scientists and engineers within its workforce. With S&T advancements and breakthroughs, the workforce that enables this progress must evolve as well. As it builds the future Federal S&T workforce, the Federal Government must consider trends in the supply of and demand for these workers: the number of retirement-eligible workers is increasing; public perception of civil service has declined, especially since the Space Race and Cold War eras; wages and flexibility are often lower for Federal S&T workers than in other sectors; and many applicants consider the workplace culture in other sectors to be more appealing than in the Federal Government.
In response to increasing demand for new Federal S&T employees and a dwindling supply, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) established the Fast Track Action Committee Federal Science and Technology Workforce (FTAC-FSTW) to identify solutions to these challenges.
Today, FTAC-FSTW is pleased to release “Leading in a Competitive Edge in Innovation through a World-Class Federal Science and Technology Workforce.” In this report, the FTAC-FSTW’s recommendations to help the Federal Government attract and maintain a highly skilled S&T workforce are organized into four priorities:
In working together to implement these recommendations, the FTAC-FSTW membership will be better able to support, develop, and maintain an S&T workforce that not only enhances innovation in the Federal Government, but also fosters the personal and professional growth of the S&T workers. The Federal Government aims to attract a future S&T workforce that has the tools and the skills necessary to achieve the Federal Government’s S&T goals, contributing to the growth and prosperity of the Nation.
Afua Bruce is the Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Council at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Chris Fall is Assistant Director for Defense Programs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Jayne Morrow is a Senior Science Policy Advisor in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Materials Measurement Laboratory