Update, July 30, 2009: Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Michael Castle (R-DE) introduced the Roosevelt Scholars Act of 2009 in the House.
The Roosevelt Scholars Act aims to create a new pipeline to public service careers for graduate students who are developing skills desperately needed by the federal government.
The Roosevelt Scholars Act, which was introduced last year in the House of Representatives but not yet during this year’s 111th Congress, would create a scholarship program to fund graduate education for students who demonstrate outstanding potential for a career in a mission-critical occupational area within the federal government, and who in turn would commit to three to five years of service in a federal government agency. The scholarship would would be similar to ROTC, but instead of committing to military service, students would commit to Federal government service.
Rep. David Price (D-NC) is planning to introduce the legislation in the House before the August recess. (Last year, he and RPCV Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) introduced the legislation; Shays was not reelected last November.)
The Act would establish a small foundation called the Theodore Roosevelt Scholarship Foundation to administer the scholarships, including tuition and living expenses. Scholarships could amount to as much as $60,000 per student per Continue reading →
With record numbers of first-time voters and young people backing Obama’s presidency, perhaps a new generation of government workers will not be so hard to recruit after all.
With Baby Boomers retiring in droves over the next decade, fears have been widespread in public and nonprofit sectors that the United States will face a leadership shortage.
Not enough young people have shown an interest in government careers, and in-roads to government careers are not well known. Government has a reputation of being inefficient, less lucrative than business sector work, and very, very bureaucratic. People cite student loans that are just too high, and the need for better marketing of the compelling opportunities available in the government.
“This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program – this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.”– U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama during a speech given at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs July 2, 2008.
John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of youth to serve through initiatives like Peace Corps. Will a new generation of people — young people and people who are recently discovering civic engagement — be inspired to join the ranks of an Obama-led federal government? What do you think?
If you are considering a career in government — whether you supported McCain or Obama during this election cycle — you should know about these resources:
AmeriCorps*VISTA and Peace Corps both offer first-year alums noncompetitive eligibility for federal government jobs. That means these recent program grads can apply for jobs not open to the entire public.
Many other service corps (see the side bar) have placements in local and state government agencies that give professionals a taste of that work environment and access to new, highly relevant networks for this work.
The Partnership for Public Service has developed an array of resources on federal-government career paths, for people of varying educational backgrounds and skills. Note that federal jobs exist throughout the country, not just in Washington, D.C.
President-Elect Obama has been particularly clear that his administration will count on the help of people who have supported his candidacy and on those who didn’t. Young people may accept this invitation by entering the government workforce. If they do so with the enthusiasm and turn-out they have shown in his election bid, the looming leadership crisis may fail to materialize.
Not only is VISTA service a great way to serve a year (or two or three) and get an award to help pay for school or repay student loans, it can also give alumni an advantage when applying for federal jobs.
Upon the completion of service, VISTAs receive a year of non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs. What this means is you can apply for federal jobs that are not open to the general public. (NOTE: This benefit only applies to VISTA and Peace Corps.)
This benefit doesn’t guarantee you a federal job, but as long as your qualified and there is an opening, you have a better shot at getting hired than someone who never served.
Here’s some additional info from cns.gov:
To establish your non-competitive status, you will need proof of eligibility. Once you have completed service, log onto the My AmeriCorps portal to print an AmeriCorps*VISTA certification letter. Visit http://my.americorps.gov to register at the My AmeriCorps portal. Click the “My Service Letter” link to create and print your letter. If your letter is incorrect or the portal cannot locate your record, please contact the VISTA Member Support Unit at VISTAMemberSupportUnit@cns.gov.
Submit copies of this statement with your federal job applications. Information on federal positions can be obtained from USAJOBS, the federal government’s one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information. USAJOBS is accessible at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/.