Across all fields, workforce shortages are making it difficult for organizations to meet financial goals and make any kind of progress forward. This challenge is especially pronounced in the public sector, which can’t always compete with the more lucrative salaries offered by private companies and has historically struggled to attract talent.
LevelUp Gov, a new initiative launched this week by the nonprofit Volcker Alliance, which was founded by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker, seeks marketing ideas from creative Gen Zers to attract younger employees into the government information technology sector.
“Technological innovation and our nation’s welfare are tightly linked. In order to shape and protect the nation’s future—avert the climate crisis, accelerate the transition to green energy, modernize crumbling transit systems and infrastructure—America must deploy technology creatively and equitably. One promising approach is to equip the government with the fiercest, sharpest tech talent,” reads a statement announcing the competition, which is advertised as “a public service marketing challenge.”
Within government organizations, IT departments are facing a particularly difficult challenge. Only 3% of information technology workers in the federal government are younger than 30; more than half are approaching retirement.
The two boldest and best messages that inspire “early-career technologists to pursue government careers” will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each. Two finalists will be awarded $2,500 each. Members of Gen Z with a passion for public service and a flair for marketing, social media, or design are invited to participate, the announcement says.
“We’re excited to see the creative ways Gen Z-ers suggest leveling up the bureaucratic brand,” said Sara Mogulescu, president of the Volcker Alliance. “Inspired by our founder Paul Volcker, who was passionate about the imperative and reward of public service, this challenge is designed to inspire early-career technologists to use their skills for good in the government and change the world.”
Contest details and submission information can be found at volckeralliance.org/LevelUpGov. Submissions will close on Jan. 8, 2023.This article originally appeared on our sister site American City and County.
Andy Castillo, editor of American City & County, is an experienced journalist and photographer with a background in local newspaper reporting, television production and travel writing.