VA's Kaine promotes telework

Governor asks for 20% telework in state agencies, sees traffic and economic gains.

Traffic choked northern Virginia could benefit immensely from government telework programs in which employees could work from home rather than joining the cars on the highways to DC. But telework efforts have always stalled. Now Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has established an office to encourage and support the use of teleworking in the private sector and state government, Federal Computer Week reports. Kaine created by executive order the Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance, which will be directed by Karen Jackson.

Kaine wants to ensure that Virginia does everything it can to extend and take advantage of its broadband networks. The office will “keep the usage of this technology a point of focus for all state offices,” he said.

But it's not just about traffic reduction. Kaine sees telework as an economic engine.

Broadband communications makes it possible for people living in rural areas to take advantage of employment opportunities in Northern Virginia and other areas, Kaine said.

“We have huge parts of Virginia where people can do those jobs if the technology is in place,” Kaine said.

To get past the stagnation on this issue, Kaine is doing more than promotion. He has set a goal of 20 percent teleworking for state agencies by 1010.

But Virginia is not starting from scratch. “We have some state agencies who have been particularly successful” with telework, Kaine said. “Let them share what they have learned so they can help others.”