The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Technology Transformation Services (TTS) organization is planning to hire more than 100 new people this year – representing a 28 percent jump in headcount – to meet booming agency demand for its services to numerous Federal agencies.

Josh Di Frances, senior advisor-technology innovation and new ventures at TTS, laid out the staff expansion plans at an August 11 event organized by FCW.

TTS exists to provide expertise to Federal agencies to “make their services more accessible, efficient, and effective with modern applications, platforms, processes, personnel, and software solutions.” The organization operates through many sub-organizations including the 18F digital consulting service, various tech-related centers of excellence, the Presidential Innovation Fellowship program, and the TTS Solutions group.

Di Frances, who previously managed the Presidential Innovation Fellows program for several years, explained that TTS is focused on “exploring governmentwide services … so we can identify new opportunities for solving governmentwide challenges.”

With a renewed focus on IT modernization in the Federal government – and $150 million of new funding for TTS’s Citizen Services Fund through the American Rescue Plan legislation earlier this year – Di Frances said that TTS is facing “more demand than we can possibly keep up with, so are going to hire 100 people this year and expand.”

TTS currently employs a staff of about 350 people, he said.

Future Funding Hints

Speaking in general terms about how TTS plans to employ the new funding stream, Di Frances said it would likely be “allocated to priority legacy modernization projects,” and to projects that “enhance the government’s ability to operate digitally.”

Part of his role at TTS, Di Frances said, is to see that the funding is used to align with the goals of the American Rescue Plan Act, which includes pandemic recovery, putting in place more secure and effective public digital services, and bolstering public confidence in e-government.

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“Lots of work is being done to make sure those funds are properly used,” Di Frances said, adding that he could not yet share the full details of that planning. “More will be shared by TTS in the coming months,” he pledged.

Hiring Improvements

On the tech hiring front, Di Frances said that TTS is involved in work to make that process more effective for the government by matching government roles more clearly to tech jobs that exist in the private sector.

“There are so many folks that are mission-driven and that want to join the government,” he said, but often the government’s advertisements for jobs don’t make a good connection with potential candidates. That connection, he said, “needs to be more clear … we need to tie the mission to the roles a little better.”

“The government has a lot to do in this space” to create better hiring processes,” he said.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.