Build the Bench

Program Overview


Build the Bench is a full-time (March 25 – November 20, 2024***) paid program designed to train a group of young professionals who are diverse and accelerate their careers as the next generation of leaders in progressive politics. 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) seeks a passionate, dedicated, and resilient group of twelve entry-level professionals to join our dynamic Build the Bench cohort as Communicators. Together, cohort members will receive training in political communications, collaborate closely with committee and campaign staff, and have a direct impact on preparations for the upcoming election. 

First, members of the Build the Bench cohort will be guided through an intensive and rigorous training program (the “Institute”) which will take place in a hybrid setting at DNC HQ in Washington, DC from March 25 – April 19, 2024. This training program will equip them with the technical skills most sought-after in our ecosystem, especially in the world of political communications. 

From April 29 – May 24, 2024 (the “Immersion” period), cohort members will join a DNC department to gain hands-on experience and refine their communications skills while receiving mentorship and coaching from DNC staff. Cohort members will choose to focus their journey along one of the three paths below. 

  1. Digital Communications: cohort members may engage grassroots donors and supporters through email, phone-banking, SMS, and social media platforms. 
  2. Traditional Communications: cohort members may draft press releases, monitor media, and disseminate vital information to those in our campaign world. 
  3. Polling & Research: cohort members may study voting patterns and track candidates and our opposition (MAGA Republicans!).

The last stage of the Build the Bench program is referred to as the “Deployment” period. 

***Although placements are not guaranteed, our goal is for cohort members to transition to full-time positions working in political communications at DNC HQ, within a state party, or with the presidential campaign in Wilmington, DE from June 3, 2024 until the campaign cycle ends on November 20, 2024. 

Key Dates & Information

  • February 25: Application deadline (11:59 p.m. ET).
  • March 11: Final cohort selected.
  • March 25 – April 19: The Institute (four-week training program).
    • The cohort will receive training centered on the following themes: leadership development, political foundations, and position-based technical skills. Weeks 1 & 4 will be in-person at DNC HQ in Washington, DC. Weeks 2 & 3 will be virtual.
  • April 29 – May 24: Immersion (hands-on experience with DNC departments + coaching).
    • Cohort members will choose to focus their journey along one of three paths (digital communications, traditional communications, or polling and research). They will transfer to a DNC department to refine their skills and knowledge during this four-week, supervised coaching period.
  • June 3, 2024: Deployment (transition to full-time employment).
    • With skills needed to thrive and demonstrated success within teams, cohort transitions to full-time employment at DNC HQ, within a state party, or in Wilmington, DE on the presidential campaign.
  • November 20, 2024: Full-time deployment concludes.
    • Full-time deployment concludes and cohort members are guided along the next steps in their journeys.


All cohort members must be available for in-person programming during weeks 1 and 4 of the Institute training program. They must also be able to relocate to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for the duration of the Immersion period. Housing and travel support may be available, if needed. 

If given the opportunity to transition to full-time employment during the Deployment period, cohort members must be willing to move to their deployment location from June 3 – November 20, 2024.

Time Commitment

The work our Build the Bench cohort members will do this electoral cycle is intense, yet rewarding, and requires a full-time commitment which may fall outside of the traditional 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. time frame. Additionally, weekend hours may be required.

Build the Bench Cohort Members Receive

  • Base annualized salary of $48,000 throughout the duration of the Institute and Immersion periods (March 25 – June 2, 2024).
  • If given the opportunity to transition to a full-time position, base annualized salary of $51,000 + benefits throughout the duration of the full-time Deployment period (June 3 – November 20, 2024). 
  • Rigorous, hands-on training along the following themes: leadership development, political foundations, and position-based technical skills.
  • Networking opportunities with inspiring leaders from progressive political committees, caucuses, and social justice organizations. 
  • Invaluable connection to a cohort of diverse, like-minded individuals ready to inspire each other’s growth along their journeys into the progressive political space.

Contact Us

Contact the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team via email at with any questions.