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Podcast: The State Policy Fellowship Program

In this podcast, we’ll discuss the Center’s State Policy Fellowship Program. I’m Shannon Spillane and I’m joined by Tianca Crocker, program associate with the State Fiscal Project.

1. Tianca, the Center has a brand new fellowship program. Can you tell me a little bit about it?

A. Sure Shannon. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about this. We’ve just launched the State Policy Fellowship Program.

Fellows will spend two years — starting in August 2010 — working at independent, highly respected think tanks located in state capitals.

They will tackle domestic policy challenges in areas like health care, taxes, anti-poverty policy, education and public safety. Fellows will also analyze the impact of state budget and tax policy choices on low-income residents and promote positive reforms.

2. Tell me more about the locations of the fellowships. Where will fellows be placed?

There are eighteen locations across the country, many in state capitals. Locations range from Austin to Boston and from Baltimore to Seattle.

The fellows will work at state policy organizations that belong to the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, or SFAI, which is a network of organizations working on state budget and tax issues.

There’s also one position working with the Center’s State Fiscal Project and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute here in Washington, DC.

3. You mentioned that fellows will tackle domestic policy issues. What kinds of responsibilities will fellows have?

Fellows will handle a wide range of tasks. They will conduct research and analysis on state budget, tax, and low-income issues to improve the lives of disadvantaged families.

Fellows will also produce reports and other materials for use by policymakers, journalists, advocacy groups, and other civic organizations in the state.

4. Do the fellowships offer opportunities for career development?

Absolutely. They provide the opportunity to develop expertise in issues.

And, fellows will become part of a national network and even take part in training and career development in Washington, DC. The program will identify mentors and provide on-going training and opportunities for professional growth throughout the fellowship.

5. Are these positions paid?

Oh yes, fellows will earn an annual salary of $45,000 to $50,000 a year and regional adjustments will be made based on cost of living. There are also health benefits provided.

6. Does the program look for a specific type of candidate?

We’re looking for candidates with an interest in state fiscal policy and those who are committed to improving the welfare of low- and moderate-income households.

Eligible candidates must have recently received a graduate degree in public policy, public affairs, economics, social work, public health, or a related field, or expect to receive a degree before the end of August 2010.

7. Tianca, are you accepting applications now?

Yes, the online application process is open and we’ll be accepting applications until January 15th 2010. Finalists will interview in January and February of 2010 and fellowships will be awarded in March.

8. How can listeners learn more?

For more information — or to apply — visit slash fellowship. Listeners can also become fans of the State Policy Fellowship Program on Facebook.

Thank you for joining me, Tianca.