Earlier this week, the WashingtonExec Strategic Human Capital and Critical Talent Council hosted Dr. Stephen Fuller, Dwight Schar Faculty Chair as well as University Professor and Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University (GMU). The roundtable discussion was led by Co-Chairpersons Kay Curling, SVP and Chief HR Officer of Salient Federal, and Eleni Antoniou, VP of HR of FCi Federal.
Dr. Fuller discussed workforce trends in our region as well as the specific region of Northern Virginia, an area which includes 75 percent of all federal contracts (15 percent for Hampton Roads, 10 percent for the rest of the country). Although some consider the DMV area (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia) a “two horse town,” coined by Dr. Fuller, with the vast majority of employment opportunities with federal contractors and the federal government, Dr. Fuller rebuked that notion.
The Marriott, Hilton and Ritz Carlton Hotels are all headquartered in Virginia and Maryland and Dr. Fuller predicts that Washington, D.C. will be considered a “global capital” by 2023. Housing development is also predicted to grow exponentially, with young associates flocking to the region for lucrative and stable jobs. Most of these Generation Y constituents are renters…the large question is, when will they start buying? The DC-area is also considered an information hub, which has contributed to many new employment opportunities in the IT and healthcare sectors.
Relating to specific issues facing the federal contracting human capital executive attendees, how a corporation can best accommodate a mobile workforce was a lively topic. How does a company both engage with its employees looking to retire in the next 5 to 10 years, along with its incoming college graduate population? Supporting a telecommuting workforce increases the quality of life for many employees, but what about basic office social cues and expectations that can only be taught and discussed while staff is physically in the office? The Council concluded that despite these very real challenges, accountability and establishing concrete guidelines regarding productivity and contribution to the company will ultimately determine the privilege of establishing a truly innovative mobile workforce.
“Dr. Fuller brings color and perspective to the economic trends impacting our region. The discussion illuminated the importance of upskilling the current workforce and creating ways to ensure the successful transfer of knowledge,” said Kay Curling.
Each participating government contracting company sponsors a human resource executive and nominates one critical talent individual for this WashingtonExec Council. Building trust is a key aspect of any business relationship. This one-of-a-kind group allows the VP of HR the opportunity to help develop the next generation of HR leadership while building their own networks. We are in our first year of the council and membership is growing.
Dr. Ginny Bianco-Mathis of Marymount University presented “Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Economic Environment: Focus on Talent Management” to the group last month and the Council had its first meeting January of this year.