Most people who enter STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields work in the private sector: about 70% while just 4% take jobs at the federal government, a recent Ford Foundation report found.
Juxtapose that with the report of tech salaries released this week which showed that Washington, DC has the third highest salaries for tech salaries. Perhaps it is a supply and demand issue. A Brookings Institute report recently released show that Washington, DC has the 3rd toughest market for filling STEM jobs.
So this is a ripe time for the current White House to try to lure tech workers from Silicon Valley to DC to help meet the needs of the US government which most recently was marred by a scandal when its healthcare overhaul website failed miserably during initial insurance sign up period.
A Start Up called 18F ,named for its location on 18th and F Streets, has existed since its March 2014 launch and is tasked with upgrading the federal government which currently has 80,000 tech workers. It has a hard task in front of it as currently,there is under 100 employees working at the office.
The difference between 18F and traditional government tech work, infoWorld notes, is the “build it first” model versus the government’s “get permission first” dichotomy.
An early project for the group is NotAlone.gov, a repository of information tracking sexual assaults on college campuses that is regularly updated with resolutions.
The 18F initiative is but the second White House effort at bridging the tech gap.
In 2012, the White House created the President Innovation Fellows program to recruit employees in the tech industry to work on government IT projects for six to 12 months. The program’s first round received 1,200 applications for 18 positions, according to Tom Kalil, the White House deputy director for technology and innovation.
Oh boy! Talk about tall order.
photo: The White House
Jay Jay Ghatt is also editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the JayJayGhatt.com and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!