“We need talented young folks in government, not only to replace those coming to the end of their careers of service, but also to bring new skills”
Free college isn’t enough. Now the government should be paying all college students.
Eric Braverman and Max Stier write at CNN:
To recharge the country, Biden should give 1 million college students paid government internships
There are 16 million college students in America. These young people hold the promise of being our next generation of innovators and leaders. But once they graduate, they face student debt repayments and a labor market that has been ravaged by the pandemic.
We can make sure the talent does not go to waste. In the first 100 days of the Biden administration, we can help them and the country out by reimagining national service for the Zoom era.
Over the next four years, our country can give 1 million college students a paid internship in federal, state or municipal government, plus a chance to compete for a college scholarship in exchange for their service.
Pew polling shows trust in government at near-record lows, and interest in public service is also eroding. America’s poor response to the pandemic and concerns about the abuse of executive power have driven many young prospects away. Not to mention a walk around any college career fair lays bare how unwelcoming government service seems to be compared to an apparently endless set of shiny opportunities in the private sector.
Analysis of government data shows that just 6.7% of federal employees are under the age of 30 — compared with 20.6% of those in the employed labor force. That’s even more problematic when you consider that about one-third of federal workers will be eligible to retire in the next five years.
We need talented young folks in government, not only to replace those coming to the end of their careers of service, but also to bring new skills that will help the country confront a wide array of public challenges and opportunities. And this next generation has a unique opportunity to make a difference for our country and the world by becoming public servants.
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