This week, GSA announced that registration for the Federal Acquisition Service Training Conference (“FAST 2020”) will open on September 4, 2019, at noon EDT.  FAST 2020 will be held in Atlanta on April 14-16, 2020 at the Georgia World Congress Center.  

FAST 2020 is GSA’s national training conference where hundreds of accredited training hours will be available to government employees at no charge.  GSA has noted that attendees can earn up to 20 CLPs.   

It is great news that GSA has taken this important step!   

FAST 2020 is an acquisition training multiplier.  It will bring together thousands of procurement professionals, thought-leaders, and subject matter experts for multiple days of training and dialogue.  In-person engagement with cross-training and dialogue is underappreciated in the age of the internet.  The reality is that in-person training fosters exchanges, conversations, brainstorming, and important relationship-building that is fundamental to the professional development of the acquisition workforce.  It is a strategic investment in people, critical to improving acquisition processes and programs for customer agencies, GSA, and industry, as well as an investment in the long-term success of the procurement system.     

Importantly, FAST 2020 provides GSA’s industry partners with an opportunity to participate as booth exhibitors or attendees (including attending the training sessions!). As many of you know, the Coalition and its membership have been strong supporters of acquisition training that fosters the effective and efficient use of government-wide contracting programs, including GSA’s contracting programs, e-tools, and cross-cutting management initiatives.   

We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta next year!       

Speaking of the workforce, it is important to note that next Monday is Labor Day. Although many may view the upcoming long weekend as an unofficial end to summer (and, for the fashion conscious, the last day white can be worn until Memorial Day), Labor Day commemorates the important contributions of the labor movement to the strength and vitality of our country.  In addition to elevating the dignity of labor in the national consciousness, it brought us reforms that may be taken for granted today, like the 40-hour work week, safe working conditions, and the weekend. For this reason, we should take a moment this holiday and reflect on the importance that this movement, its history, and all workers have in pulling together in service of the great experiment that is our nation.