Digital Corps launches with 41 fellows across 13 agencies

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The program, run out of the General Services Administration, is meant to help government woo early-career tech talent.

The first cohort of the U.S. Digital Corps, a two-year, early-career tech fellowship launched last year, will come onboard later next month. 

“Creating new ways to bring technology talent into the federal government is crucial to our efforts to protect, serve, and inspire the American people in today’s digital age,” wrote federal CIO Clare Martorana in a blog post about the new fellows. 

The foundational need for tech talent to operate government tech and execute the Biden administration’s tech priorities – a need this program is trying to address—is also evident in the newly released Information Technology Operating Plan, which called out tech talent as “essential to accomplish the mission and fundamental duties of the government, while avoiding the risks that come with outsourcing.” 

Currently, 41 fellows are set to come on board, according to the General Services Administration, which houses the program in its Technology Transformation Services. The initial plan was to hire a first round of 30.

The Digital Corps is the newest in a series of programs for tech talent, like the Presidential Innovation Fellows and the U.S. Digital Service.

Program co-founder Chris Kuang previously told FCW the program is meant to address a lack of on-ramps into government service for early career talent. Another goal is to make the program into a longer-term pathway for technologists to start a career in government.

“The goals of the broader program obviously are to bring in the next generation of technology leaders here in government … and ultimately for the agencies to really close some of their technology talent gaps,” he said. “So we’re hoping that this will be a launching pad and a stepping stone for these fellows to bring their skills in to serve.

In her announcement of the first cohort, Martorana emphasized the program’s “reaching out to communities that are traditionally underrepresented in civic tech” and the diversity of the first class.

The first cohort will be spread across 13 agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Personnel Management, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The Digital Corps fellows will work on IT modernization, cybersecurity, data science, product management and more.

The news of the first cohort coming online in June was first reported by Axios.