LA PLATA, Md. (February 27, 2011) The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced it will end its funding after March 31 of its GSA-sponsored Telework sites, including three Southern Maryland Telecommuting Centers operated by the College of Southern Maryland. The signing of the new Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 will allow eligible Federal employees the option to telework; however, since no funding is tied to this legislation, GSA is directing centers located in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia that do not have substantial income or funding from other sources to determine the feasibility to continue operations.
The result of GSAs decision is that telework sites that do not have substantial income or funding from other sources will have to close their doors, and that is the situation for the College of Southern Maryland as it has faced this difficult decision. The college is extremely disappointed as we have had a longtime association since 1993 of partnering with the GSA to provide this valuable service and convenience to our residents and telecommuting members of our community, said CSM President Dr. Bradley.
After thorough review of the viability of operating the Telework Centers without GSA funding, CSM has determined it must close the centers located at Laurel, Prince Frederick and Waldorf, and the teleworkers utilizing these centers have been notified of the decision.
While we are hoping to provide the teleworkers access to these centers for an additional 30 days, GSA will identify the final closing date for us, said CSM Vice President of Corporate and Community Training Daniel Mosser, adding that the furniture and equipment which needs to be removed from the centers are federal property.
CSMs staff of the Southern Maryland Telework Centers has been assisting its clients in seeking alternative telework solutions, according to Mosser.
This is a difficult time for our teleworkers and our staff who have developed strong relationships through the years. The teleworkers have benefited tremendously from the convenience of working closer to home, and we regret no longer being able to continue these options for the residents of Southern Maryland, said Jill Wathen, director of the Southern Maryland Telecommuting Centers.
GSA, in cooperation with the Office of Personnel Management and with community partners, established the telework centers for the Washington Metropolitan area, located in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The college partnered with the GSA in 1993, receiving full funding to offer telecommuting services. The three centers served approximately 77 teleworkers who worked for federal agencies and two private businesses. Workers usage spanned from as few as two days a month to full-time use. Centers provided a professional office environment with access to broadband and to high-end equipment such as copiers, fax machines, voice mail services and on-site technical support.