California readies plan to replace boomers with millennials

California is establishing partnerships with universities, companies and even residents as it prepares to replace up to 54 percent of its employees who are eligible for retirement over the next few years, the state’s Chief Deputy Director of Operations Chris Cruz said.

“We think that this is going to be the way of the future in terms of how we manage things in an agile environment,” Cruz said in a StateScoop TV interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ midyear conference in April in Baltimore.

The state has worked with universities to hire student assistants, who can get hired full time after graduation.

“We’re actually trying to attract the millennials, so what we’re doing with open source, and modular development and virtual desktop and moving everything to the cloud, we’re hopeful that we can attract the best and brightest talent,” Cruz said.

To simplify the process of bringing new hires into state agencies, the state has begun using tools many are already familiar with, such as Microsoft’s 365 for email and calendar functions.

At the same time, the state is expanding its Innovation Lab so that even residents and companies can come in and develop code that agencies might need.

“We’re looking forward to working with public-private partnerships and expanding that lab to make it more easily accessible for citizens to come in and provide code for applications that the state has a need for,” Cruz said.