Civic Innovations

Technology, Government Innovation, and Open Data

Municipal Residency Requirements and Tech Worker Recruitment

I’m re-upping this post I wrote a while back about municipal residency requirements and my time working as the Chief Data Officer in the City of Philadelphia.

In light of current sentiment among tech workers, it’s more essential than ever that governments not only support remote work, but that they actually seek out ways to bring in and retain skilled tech workers.

…[N]early 40% of software engineers preferred only remote roles, and if their employers mandated a return to the office, 21% indicated they would quit immediately, while another 49% said they would start looking for another job

2023 State of Software Engineers

I believe that the most effective way that municipal governments could improve their ability to recruit and retain talented technology employees is to eliminate residency requirements for IT staff. There are potentially other benefits as well – casting a wider net in recruiting might also assist with diversity and inclusion goals.

Bottom line: it is long past due for municipal governments to rethink the role of residency requirements for IT workers.

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About Me

I am the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. I also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America, and as Director of the State of Delaware’s Government Information Center. For about six years, I served in the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), and helped pioneer their work with state and local governments. I also led platform evangelism efforts for TTS’ cloud platform, which supports over 30 critical federal agency systems.

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