NOAA’s Office of Education student opportunities prepare the future workforce

To maintain a globally competitive workforce, NOAA needs to be able to hire from a pool of highly trained candidates that reflects the diversity of the nation. The José E. Serrano Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) and Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship programs, administered by the Office of Education, are significant contributors to this pool. Meet three alumni at NOAA who credit the EPP/MSI and Hollings programs with leading them on the path to their successful careers.

Preparing the future NOAA workforce

Together the programs have supported nearly 5,500 postsecondary students to date and provided immersive research, professional development, and networking opportunities at NOAA. Specifically, they have supported:

  • 253 EPP/MSI undergraduate scholars 
  • 1,732 EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Center undergraduates 
  • 1,213 EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Center graduate students
  • 2,181 Hollings undergraduate scholars 

Three alumni making an impact at NOAA

Many EPP/MSI and Hollings alumni who join NOAA draw on their training to rise to notable positions. Meet three alumni from the earliest years of EPP/MSI and Hollings who are still with NOAA today.

Hiring the future NOAA workforce

In 2019, the Conservation Corps Act (CCA) made it possible for NOAA to non-competitively hire students who have successfully completed a rigorous internship. The EPP/MSI and Hollings programs have facilitated the hiring of their highly trained alumni through this avenue, which has led to an increase in alumni hired at NOAA. In the three years since CCA direct hire has been available (2020-2022), approximately 220% more program alumni have been hired compared to the three years preceding the CCA direct hire (2017-2019). EPP/MSI and Hollings undergraduate scholars often pursue graduate school after finishing the programs. However, many bring their talents and training to the agency through other NOAA programs that support graduate students or pursue a career with NOAA following graduate school.