Rep. Ami Bera Introduces TechCorps Bill to Reduce Student Debt and Energize Federal Technology Workforce
Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Ami Bera (D CA-7) introduced TechCorps, a bill that would incentivize the best and brightest Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) graduates to enter the federal workforce through a debt forgiveness program.
Bera’s bill addresses both the federal government’s acute challenges to recruit enough talented cyber professionals to fill crucial roles, and the debt that students face when they graduate, by creating a new national service program.
Tech Corps would forgive federal student debt for STEM graduates who go to work for the federal government in cyber and information technology positions for at least two years and offer loan forgiveness for up to four years.
“We have critical national security needs that are going unmet because the government struggles to attract and retain necessary talent,” said Rep. Bera. “This bill will make it possible to hire the best and the brightest to keep our country safe. Providing student debt relief in return for service in crucial cybersecurity and technology jobs makes it possible for the next generation to serve their country.”
The government’s difficulty competing with high-paying tech companies not only leaves our nation at risk to a cyber threat, but means that outdated and inefficient technology could impede access to online services.
How Tech Corps works
- The bill would create a new national service program within the Corporation for National and Community Service, called TechCorps
- Qualified TechCorps positions would be any cybersecurity or IT job vacancy across the federal government
- If a TechCorps member serves for two years, they would be eligible to receive forgiveness on 50 percent of their current loan obligation. If they serve an additional one or two years in their job, they would be eligible for forgiveness of an additional 25% for an additional year of service, to a maximum of $31,000
Cyber and Technology Workforce
- According to the US Chief Information Officer, in late 2015, the government needed to fill at least 10,000 additional IT and cybersecurity positions
- More than 527,000 open computing jobs nationwide saw fewer than 43,000 computer science graduates enter the work force
Rep. Bera has served on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee since the 113th Congress, in 2013, and currently serves as the Ranking Member for the Subcommittee on Space.