President Obama Ends Federal Career Intern Program

On Dec. 27, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that eliminates the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) on March 1. The program has been used to hire over 100,000 individuals since the program was created in 2001. On Dec. 27, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that eliminates the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) on March 1. The program has been used to hire over 100,000 individuals since the program was created in 2001.

Obama wrote, "To compete effectively for students and recent graduates, the Federal Government must improve its recruiting efforts; offer clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school; offer clear paths to civil service careers for recent graduates; and provide meaningful training, mentoring, and career-development opportunities."

Federal unions are the primary critics of the intern-hiring program, claiming it has grown beyond its original scope and was being abused by many agencies. However, many federal managers liked the program because it offered more hiring flexibility and sped up the hiring process.

The executive order created a new effort called the Pathways Program which includes a new Internship Program and Recent Graduates Program, as well as the existing Presidential Management Fellows Program.

According to the executive order, the Internship Program will be for high school and college students to show them what job opportunities exist within the federal government. These will be paid positions and will only be for those enrolled or accepted for enrollment by qualified educational institutions and programs.

Those in the Recent Graduates Program "must have obtained a qualifying degree, or completed a qualifying career or technical education program...within the preceding 2 years," according to the order.

Veterans will be eligible for the program within 6 years of obtaining a qualifying degree or completing a qualifying program. Individuals in the Recent Graduates Program will gain developmental opportunities that could lead to permanent positions.

The order increases eligibility for enrolling in the 30 year old Presidential Management Fellows Program. The program will align better with academic calendars and no longer requires nominations from candidates' graduate schools. It will now allow direct applications for the program and will offer more mentoring and training.

The executive order requires the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue specific regulations on implementing each of these programs. OPM will oversee the program and evaluate agencies' progress in recruiting young workers.

Interns in FCIP will not lose their jobs when the program ends in March and will be eligible for full-time positions with no loss of pay or benefits.

Posted in General News

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