By Brittany Ballenstedt // June 19, 2014
There is a bright side to shrinking budgets at federal agencies: They may just force employees to come up with new and innovative ways of doing business.
That’s according to Carissa Cutrell, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who told Wired Workplace last week that budget cuts and a crackdown on federal conference spending forced the agency to take a more innovative approach to engaging employees and stakeholders involved in the Student and Exchange Visitor program, which manages nonimmigrant students and their dependents and also certifies schools to accept international students.
While the agency previously reached out to stakeholders by traveling to both national and international conferences, budget cuts and the crackdown on conference spending made those trips less frequent. Instead, the agency began engaging stakeholders online, through online webinars, blogs and social media.
“Everyone encounters obstacles in their business activities; it’s hard to overcome those obstacles, but we developed a new solution,” Cutrell said. “We knew we had certain goals to meet, and this was just another way of meeting them.”
In lieu of going to conferences where the stakeholders are, ICE requests they instead meet online, and to much success: The agency’s 11 webinars ...