Seven DC-Area Telework Centers Close as GSA Ends Funding

The General Service Administration (GSA) announced it will end its funding of GSA-sponsored telework sites after March 31. The centers had to make the decision if they would remain open by Feb. 28, and seven sites announced that they would close by March 31. The remaining six sites will continue operating under a private-sector model.

GSA, in cooperation with the Office of Personnel Management and other community partners, set up many of the centers in the Washington Metropolitan area in the early 1990s. GSA does not own the centers and many are run by non-profits and universities. However, it is estimated that it costs approximately $3 million a year to operate the telework centers. Most, but not all, of the users are federal employees from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Three of the sites operated by the College of Southern Maryland will close. Those include the centers located in Laurel, Md., Prince Frederick, Md. and Waldorf, Md. The teleworkers utilizing those centers have been notified of the decision. "The college is extremely disappointed as we have had a longtime association-since 1993-of partnering with GSA to provide this valuable service and convenience to our residents and telecommuting members of our community," said College of Southern Maryland President Bradley Gottfried.

The three centers operated by the College of Southern Maryland currently serve approximately 77 teleworkers who work for federal agencies and two private businesses. The centers provide an office environment with access to broadband and equipment including copiers, fax machines, voice mail services and on-site technical support. Each month, workers utilize the centers for as little as two days to as much as full-time.

Additional centers that will close are located in Bowie, Md., Fredericksburg Va., Kearneysville, W.V. and Winchester, Va. Both telework centers in Manassas, Va. will remain open, as well as those in Hagerstown, Md., Frederick, Md., Stafford, Md. and Woodbridge, Va.

"Today telework has become less about where work gets done and more about how work gets done. Since then advances in technology, connectivity and culture have expanded the choices for telework beyond that of home, telework center, or office to include virtually any place at any time," said an email from GSA.

Posted in General News

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