Public-private exchanges benefit feds, agencies

A new paper from the Partnership for Public Service offers first-hand reporting on the experiences and benefits gained by federal employees who have participated in public-private exchange programs.


Federal employees, and the agencies they work for, can benefit from public-private exchange programs.

And a new report from the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service (PPS) documents some of the gains in experience and skills that feds return with, after participating in such programs.

The programs uniquely permit government employees to spend time on-the-job with private industry, increasing their knowledge of private sector processes and needs—and, vice-versa, for visiting private sector personnel to learn more about government as well as “bolster the federal workforce” with cutting edge knowledge from they might bring to agency employees.

“It’s probably the single most career-changing experience that the Navy has afforded me, and I have been really appreciative of that,” said one participant quoted in the paper—Emily Nash, the Navy Surface Warfare Center’s chief of staff.

Nash took part in the Defense Department’s Public-Private Talent Exchange. That program started in 2019, and has seen at least 30 feds participate so far. 

“The exchange allows industry employees to deploy to government partners for up to six months,” as that program’s description states, “In 2019 and 2020, industry participants gained hands-on experience in mission-critical offices within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force and DoD Agencies.

For more of PPS's reporting on the programs, see the summary of "Trading Places,” or the full report, both on PPS’s site.

NEXT STORY: OPM Director talks fed recruitment

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