Program launched to amp up federal IT workforce

The government has launched a new program intended to add heft to the federal IT workforce.

As part of the 25-point plan to reform federal IT, the Chief Information Officers Council in collaboration with the Office of Personnel Management has announced the kickoff of the 2-year paid Technology Fellows Program.

The program “helps to break down some of the bureaucratic barriers that slow hiring and presents young people with a prestigious option when coming out of their respective graduate programs,” Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel wrote on the White House blog. Once inside the federal government, the tech fellows will have rotational assignments and gain experience in running large and complex IT programs “that are only available when working in federal IT," VanRoekel said.

“In my opinion, this is the competitive advantage that the federal government holds against the private sector,” he added.

The tech fellows will be part of the Presidential Management Fellows Program, which VanRoekel said has been placing post-graduate talent in the executive agencies for more than 30 years.

“This partnership will allow the Technology Fellows Program to be successful and mature right out of the gate and allow the PMF program to cast a wide net into the information technology field, a field that is currently underrepresented by the group we are targeting,” the federal CIO wrote.

The program targets students who are expected to complete an undergraduate degree in computer science, mathematics or IT, or a graduate degree in an IT discipline or have relevant work experience in technology and IT, according to an announcement from CIOC.

The tech fellows will be selected through an application process via USAjobs.gov and will be considered based on their accomplishments, leadership skills and commitment to excellence in leading and managing public technology policies and programs, the announcement states.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

Reader comments

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 Fed IT peon

Maybe instead of starting up a new program to con young IT workers into a Federal Career, it may be more effective to end the current Federal Dump on the Worker program that both political parties are engaged in. Who would want to work for an employer that constantly denigrates their employees publicly?

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 Erich Darr

We're going to attract post graduate IT talent by offering them a GS-7 starting salary, when that's not enough to attract most IT grads with a bachelor's degree?

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 FedHRXpert

The only bureaucratic barriers to federal hiring are HR Speciaists. Well to highly paid HR Specialists are described as federal HR experts on paper i.e. their p.d.s but are failing to recruit and place quality level eligibles into federal jobs. Instead, federal HR staffs today do all the traveling, pic-ops, etc. but simply do not have the expertise i.e. technical skills to place the best and brightest using generic staffing methods and processes. Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs)so-called federal HR experts themselves are aware of these complaints and other shortcomings of their well-paid HR staffs but don't know what to do about it and blame OPM instead for failing to train agency HR staffs on what they shld already know because they are already being paid to know this according to their p.d.s.

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