D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on Wednesday announced the creation of a new pipeline program for graduates of two historically Black universities in the District to help them forge career paths in local government.
The pipeline program, which will be available next year to graduating seniors of Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia, is intended to be mutually beneficial: The college graduates can springboard into a role in public service, while D.C. seeks to attract new talent, especially at a time the administration has struggled to fill certain rank-and-file vacancies.
“What we learned is people come to D.C., they come to universities like Howard and UDC — and Johns Hopkins for that matter — because they want to be part of public service,” Bowser said, speaking at the Bloomberg CityLab conference at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Center, in the old Newseum building. “They have a change-the-world mind-set. … And we want people to know they don’t have to move away, they don’t have to work for a think tank, they don’t have to work for the feds. They can do that in local government.”
Available to students graduating with bachelor’s degrees, the program will offer a one-year apprenticeship — a full-time position — to 25 eligible students at each university, who will also be able to take a professional development course offered by the D.C. Department of Employment Services.