Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced a new program for HBCU students interested in public service careers, Black Enterprise reports. In partnership with Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the Public Service Program will create opportunities for seniors at the universities through apprenticeship programs.
There are currently more than 320 apprenticeship sponsors in the district that offer unique opportunities for those who participate. The new Public Service Program will convert 25 full-time positions into apprenticeships through various government agencies, with seniors selected for the program set to begin work in June 2024.
Students must be D.C. residents and will complete a one-year program before qualifying for a status increase within D.C. government.
“We want the best and the brightest, the people who are passionate about our community, to work at DC Government. We want people to know that they can change the world, one person, one program, and one community at a time, in DC Government,” said Mayor Bowser.
The program comes as cities around the country focus on how to provide more opportunities for HBCU students. It’s a necessary step in ensuring that every sector of business is diverse and inclusive, something education administrator Stepfon Portlock says has immense value for both the employer and employee.
“Finding people that look like you and understand you and can make the most out of what you have can be very pivotal in building confidence, which is what happens in college. I didn’t do it as a student, but I did it as a professional, and it was, you know, some of my fondest memories,” said Portlock.
Howard University and UDC seniors interested in DC’s new Public Service Program can apply through the newly revamped careers.dc.gov website.
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