WASHINGTON, D.C.  Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06) introduced the IT Service Corps Act, bipartisan legislation to support local digital equity initiatives while ensuring more people can gain experience to access jobs in the information technology (IT) sector.

The IT Service Corps Act will establish IT Service Corps members focused on digital equity projects within AmeriCorps’ existing volunteer programming opportunities – ensuring that folks can have opportunities to access valuable IT experience, while also supporting digital equity and literacy projects that bridge digital divides in underserved communities.

 “It is crucial that we prepare the next generation of professionals for the workforce, including in the IT industry,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to partner with Congressman Kilmer on this bipartisan legislation that creates an IT Service Corps to promote digital literacy and technical skills in underserved communities.”

“In recent years, we’ve seen students struggling to get online for a class. We’ve seen seniors grappling with getting connected so they could have a telehealth visit. Too many communities in our region are still navigating digital equity challenges,” said Congressman Kilmer. “The IT Service Corps Act aims to get folks online and help people gain digital literacy skills to access online resources and other needs. It will strengthen the capacity of local digital equity initiatives to support communities while ensuring that workers are gaining valuable experience relevant to the IT industry. This bill is a win for workers, a win for employers, and a win for local communities.”

 Economists point out that the IT industry has opened doors to new career opportunities at a time when the importance of getting more Americans connected and expanding digital equity and literacy, has become more important than ever. Unfortunately, there can be significant barriers to gaining professional, relevant IT skills that prevent participation from dislocated workers and individuals from marginalized and low-income communities. The ability to stay competitive in a new, post-pandemic economy will be vital to the resilience of these members of the workforce.

The IT Service Corps Act aims to help address the barriers to entry into the IT workforce and help local communities create more job opportunities. Specifically, the bill:

  • Establishes a new allowable use of funds for AmeriCorps to establish IT Service Corps members within their existing programs. IT Service Corps members would be focused on digital equity and literacy projects for underserved communities. Through this bill, AmeriCorps may also consider folks whose jobs were displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, or who have experienced long-term unemployment as a result of displacement;
  • Supports funding to provide technology equipment for members while they are on the job;
  • Supports funding to engage technology industry professionals as mentors to IT Service Corps members;
  • Supports the ability of IT Service Corps members to receive training or financial support for training toward an industry-recognized IT certification; and
  • Requires AmeriCorps to report to Congress on workforce information related to IT Service Corps members.

The IT Service Corps Act is supported by America's Service Commissions, The Corps Network, Service Year Alliance, the States for Service Coalition, and the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.

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