Top 5 Things You Missed at Federal Tech Day 2023!

At Federal Tech Day 2023, participants had the chance to virtually descend into a mine for a rescue operation, watch a robot that can rush into a wildfire and much more. The Department of Labor hosted the event for the third time on May 18, in partnership with the Department of Energy and the U.S. Chief Information Officers Council. Three thousand virtual and in-person attendees came together in person and online to celebrate the innovative technology used to serve the public and advance the missions of federal agencies. There was a lot to engage in: nearly 100 displays and 50 exhibits from 14 agencies. Check out our top 5 highlights from #FederalTechDay2023:

1. VIP speakers

White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Denice Ross speaks at a podium with the Labor Department sealChief Information Officers Clare Martorana from the Office of Management and Budget speaks at a podium with the Labor Department seal. A banner behind her says Department of Labor Federal Tech Day 2023.Labor Department Chief Information Officer Gundeep Ahluwalia speaks at a podium with the Labor Department seal. A banner behind her says Department of Labor Federal Tech Day 2023.

Several notable speakers attended Tech Day, including White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Denice Ross (left); Department of Labor Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle; and Chief Information Officers Clare Martorana from the Office of Management and Budget (center), Ann Dunkin from the Energy Department and Gundeep Ahluwalia (right) from the Labor Department.

"Collaboration is the key to us being successful.” –Clare Martorana, federal CIO for the Office of Management and Budget, on the importance of federal agencies and organizations coming together to share technological innovations.

“Better service to the public is the number one outcome.” –Gundeep Ahluwalia, the Department of Labor’s CIO, on our efforts to empower digital transformation.


2. Top booths

Best Enhancement of Workplace Safety Booth: The Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration displayed its mine emergency response equipment. Attendees recognized MSHA’s enhancement of workplace safety through its drone technology with photogrammetric capabilities, an emergency operations command center vehicle, mine emergency operations telecommunications equipment, and an explosion-proof mine rescue robot. 

A robot with tracks like a bulldozer and a variety of mechanical parts sits outside a large blue trailer with MSHA's logo and "Mine Emergency Operations Robotic Response Team"
MSHA’s mine emergency operations command center vehicle and explosion-proof mine rescue robot.

Best Increase in Productivity Booth: Internal Revenue Service’s Augmented Reality Mobile Application showed how anyone with a mobile device can use the intuitive app to scan IRS forms and obtain auto-generated taxpayer guidance. The new IRS app has both enhanced the taxpayer experience and boosted productivity!

IRS representatives stand at a Tech Day booth with two large screens, speaking with event attendees.
IRS exhibitors demonstrate their augmented reality mobile app. 

Best Improvement of User & Customer Experience Booth: Identity proofing is critical to reducing fraud and increasing equity. Unemployment insurance claimants can now prove their identities in-person at a convenient location. The Labor Department's Office of Unemployment Insurance Modernization and Office of the Chief Information Officer showed how we partner with the U.S. Postal Service to provide identity verification services at a local post office within just a few miles of most customers’ homes.

Screenshot from the virtual Tech Day platform showing the booth, "In-person Identify Verification Partnership." A map and QR code are displayed.
The Labor Department's In-person Identity Verification Partnership virtual Tech Day booth as it appeared in the virtual vFairs platform.

Best Utilization of Data Booth: As the champions of talent for the federal government, the Office of Personnel Management needs access to real-time data to make informed HR decisions. In response to the need to access real-time data, OPM leverages interactive dashboards to promote data-driven decisions. A few benefits of this technology include improved data accessibility, consistent performance measurements across functions and improved productivity. 

An OPM representative talks about a bar chart on a computer monitor with an event attendee.
OPM’s exhibitor demonstrates an interactive dashboard.

Best Overall Booth: Government-funded technology provides critical support to wildfire first responders who risk their lives protecting lives and land. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service collaborated with the Department of Interior and the National Interagency Fire Center to develop a high-tech robot dog, two service dogs and a mobile connected agile vehicle, all on display at this popular Tech Day booth. In the photos, USDA exhibitors showcase their high-tech robot dog (left), the ability of their service dogs to remain calm in a busy environment (center) and an unmanned aerial system used for fire mapping (right).

A man wears a virtual controller that directs a black Boston Dynamics robot dog while speaking with a Forest Service employee.Two exhibitors hold the leashes of service dogs while chatting with attendees.A Forest Service representative shows an event attendee a drone that sits on a table.


3. Virtual platform

A screenshot of the lobby of the online platform, which is a large, sunny space showing people milling about with various clickable options to join different event options (exhibits, auditorium, chat, schedule).
The lobby of the online platform that virtual attendees viewed when they first entered the event. 

This was the third Tech Day – but the first with a virtual option. Nearly 2,000 individuals logged in online. Attendees explored the virtual exhibit hall and made more than 9,000 visits to virtual booths. They also listened to panel discussions, interacted in the virtual lounge, and accessed videos and informational materials. One attendee noted that “the virtual experience has been spot on.”


4. Panel discussions

Six panelists sit in chairs on a stage. A Federal Tech Day banner and flags are behind them.
From left, Jessie Posilkin (GSA), Linda Southcott (AmeriCorps), David Peters (USDA), Erika Barker (PRC), Kris Mena (Labor Department) and Suzette Kent (Kent Advisory Services) speak on the Funding the Future: Technology Modernization Fund Successes Panel.

We hosted four panels throughout the day on a range of topics, including fighting fraud and protecting against identity theft, federal successes with technology modernization funds (TMF), trending topics in federal cybersecurity and empowering digital transformation.


5. Social media coverage

Federal Tech Day attendees and exhibitors joined the conversation around #FederalTechDay2023 across social media platforms. Follow us on Twitter at @OCIO_DOL and on LinkedIn so you can add to the online buzz about the next Federal Tech Day – and keep up with tech news at labor throughout the year!


Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate the latest federal technology innovations and imagine a more technology-driven future. Stay tuned to learn more about Federal Tech Day 2024!


Susan Wool is OCIO’s director of client engagement at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Are you interested in joining the OCIO Team? View available positions and apply today!