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House Bill Would Create STEM Workforce Dev’t Program for DoD, Defense Industry

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Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Andy Kim, D-N.J., have introduced legislation meant to develop the workforce for science, technology, engineering, math and computing jobs at the Department of Defense and the industry that supports DoD.

The bill would a establish a STEM Corps under the defense secretary to provide financial aid for students pursuing STEM careers with a background in computer science, Banks’ office said Tuesday.

Under the bill, the proposed program will give participants an opportunity to work for the Pentagon in exchange for two-year tuition coverage. A participant can serve as an intern at the DoD through industry sponsorship and work for an industry partner during the fourth year of the program.

The legislation would mandate that participants comply with GPA requirements and obtain a security clearance.

“We need to attract and recruit young STEM and computer science-oriented staff to work on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and other critical projects to create a more technologically agile national security workforce,” Banks said.

The Reagan Institute’s Task Force on 21st Century National Security Technology and Workforce urged Congress last year to authorize the formation of STEM Corps.