The Trump administration has a major ask to make of big tech companies. In a meeting at the White House today, officials will ask Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM, among others, to make it easier for employees to do stints in the government.
It’s a heavy lift, of course, asking well-compensated workers to take time out from demanding gigs for the betterment of federal and state governments. A number of companies, including Facebook and Google, already allow employees to take time off for this exact reason. However, the particularly polarizing nature of politics in 2018 and all of the ill-will surrounding the current administration, have further complicated the ask.
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The Washington Post quotes an anonymous official, who stressed the importance of “put[ting] politics aside” for the greater good. “This event on Monday is not just about our efforts, it’s about our successor, and their successor after that,” the person told the paper. “It’s good for the country in the long term for technology professionals to have civil service in their career at some point.”
The notoriously slow pace of government innovation was something the Obama administration looked to address during its eight years in power, and Trump’s White House appears to be interested in continuing that trend. Ahead of his inauguration, Trump met with tech leaders, including Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella, though the administration’s policies have been an on-going source of friction with Silicon Valley