Connolly Statement on OPM Guidance Promoting Internships and Early Career Programs
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), author of the NextGen Feds Act, released the following statement in support of newly-released guidance from the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) that aims to aid the federal government in attracting the next generation of federal employees by increasing opportunities for internships, particularly paid internships, and early career programs across the federal government.
“Today, federal agencies are failing to effectively promote and leverage internship and fellowship programs to attract early-career talent. The best-known federal internship program, Pathways, which has interns in agencies across the federal government, had more than 60,000 paid interns in 2010. By 2020, participation had tanked to just 4,000. We can and must do better. As we kick of 2023, we must continue our work to foster a more vibrant, diverse employee population — and find and grow the talent that will innovate us through whatever the future has in store. That’s exactly what OPM has done today.”
Congressman Connolly is the author of the Building the Next Generation of Federal Employees (NextGen Feds) Act, which would establish a comprehensive Federal Internship and Fellowship Center within the Office of Personnel Management to administer, manage, and promote all federal internship and fellowship programs. The NextGen Feds Act would help the federal government leverage internships to attract a qualified and diverse pool of candidates to the federal workforce and would create a pathway for interns to transition to full-time employment in public service. Connolly outlined the importance of the legislation in an OpEd for CNN in January of 2022.