WASHINGTON – To strengthen the skills of its information technology workforce in one of the largest federal uses of virtual training, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has opened a national training center in Falling Waters, W.Va.
“VA must use education, technology and nationwide collaboration to build a work force with the knowledge that supports fast delivery of secure information about Veterans and accessible services for them,” said Secretary Shinseki. “The National IT TrainingAcademy will help prepare our programs for the fast-moving world of communication in which information sharing and transparency are crucial.”
The National IT TrainingAcademy, which opened Feb. 12, is the hub for VA’s four existing regional IT training centers and three more planned to open this year. With remote virtualization capabilities, the national facility will train the trainers at the regional sites, including IT professionals working across all VA activities. The regional centers will be able to deliver training to each other simultaneously through a VA distance learning network and to train VA staff nationwide whose work involves automated data systems, including through teleconferencing with the NationalAcademy.
Equipped with VA’s most advanced technology, the Academy will educate with video conferencing and virtual desktop technology, thereby permitting more frequent training at reduced cost and the ability to reach more than 200 students at one time across the country. The new technology will also offer various presentation formats. In addition to interactive video, these include Web-based courses, on-demand recordings and live meetings.
Desktop virtualization will permit multiple operating systems and software applications to run on a single computer.
The IT regional training centers are classrooms in VA facilities in Arlington, Texas; Denver; Orlando, Fla.; and Washington, D.C. Future sites are in Salt Lake City and Vancouver, Wash.