SC2 Fellowship Placement Pilot Program (2013–15)
The first seven SC2 cities hosted 17 midcareer fellows along with the assigned federal staff (the community solution team) to be the boots on the ground for this new model of federal-local collaboration and capacity building. The SC2 fellowship program was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research. Recognizing that distressed cities need highly skilled professionals with technical expertise to help revitalize their local economies, yet they lack resources and capacity to recruit and retain midlevel workers, the fellowship program was designed to directly place and support skilled, midcareer professionals with a commitment to public service in each of the seven pilot cities.
The 17 fellows were placed directly within city government or a related nongovernmental organization (NGO) for 20 to 27 months. Fellows were recruited based on their experience and expertise and matched based on the needs and projects identified in each pilot city. Within these cities and public-sector organizations, the fellows dedicated their time to projects critical to creating sustained economic and social change.
Through a competitive request-for-proposals process, HUD selected a management team to host, implement and manage the program. The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University (CSU), and the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Polytechnic and State University (VT) were selected as this management team. Each of the organizations brought experience and assets that helped shape the program’s core components and emergent activities. GMF was the fiscal agent host, and management team lead, and experts from VT and CSU provided mentorship support to each fellow. CSU also conducted the SC2 Management Academy, the fellowship program’s training component, and VT conducted and completed the fellowship program evaluation in 2016.