Young Techies For Hire

Agencies will soon have access to a list of available IT professionals.

Agencies will soon gain access to a list of young IT professionals available for hire under the government’s new Technology Fellows Program.

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel said the Chief Information Officers Council is currently evaluating a group of applications for the 2012 class and expects agencies to begin selecting candidates before the summer, Federal News Radio reports.

The CIO Council officially launched the fellows program in September 2011 as part of the Obama administration’s 25-point plan to reform federal IT management. The program, which supports point 11 of the IT reform plan, appoints technology students who are expected to complete a master’s or doctoral-level degree to serve a two-year paid fellowship with the federal government. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in rotational assignments and gain in-depth experience managing large and complex IT programs.

“What’s great is it’s a fast-track hire because once they’ve cleared the hurdles of the selection process, you can just point at the pool and hire them,” VanRoekel said Friday during a congressional forum on technology.

Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management last week released final regulations creating the Pathways Program, which will make it easier for students and recent graduates to more effectively compete for federal jobs. The program includes three tracks for students in high school, undergraduate or graduate programs as well as recent graduates.

The administration also is working to allow more seasoned IT employees to work more closely with the private sector, in part by piloting the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program, which lets private sector IT professionals work for the government for short periods of time. The administration recently piloted the program at the Food and Drug Administration, and the concept could soon spread to other agencies, VanRoekel said.