The move comes as part of an administration-wide push to improve the recruitment of young federal workers.
The Biden administration announced Thursday that beginning this fall, White House internships will be paid, as agency leaders push to rejuvenate the program to attract a new generation of young federal employees.
College students and recent graduates who are selected for internships at the White House and in the Executive Office of the President for the term beginning Sept. 12 will be paid $750 weekly stipends. At 40 hours per week, that equates to earning $18.75 per hour, more than the $15 minimum wage implemented across government by President Biden.
In a press release announcing the initiative, the White House said that paying interns is important not only because it will improve the government’s recruitment of young federal employees, but also because unpaid internships often prevent a diverse population from taking advantage of those opportunities.
“Too often, unpaid federal internships have been a barrier to hardworking and talented students and professionals, preventing them from contributing their talents and skills to the country and holding them back from federal career advancement opportunities,” the administration wrote. “This significant milestone of paying White House interns will help remove barriers to equal opportunity for low-income students and first-generation professionals at the beginnings of their careers and help to ensure that those who receive internships at the White House—and who will be a significant part of the leadership pipeline across the entire federal government—reflect the diversity of America.”
In order to be eligible for the White House’s internship program, applicants must be 18 years old by Sept. 12 and be a college student, or they must have graduated from college or served in the armed forces no more than two years before the start of the program.
The announcement is the latest in a series of actions by the Biden administration to revitalize federal internships. Last year, the Office of Personnel Management issued a series of regulations that made it easier for agencies to hire interns and college students to temporary jobs and eventually convert them to permanent positions, and a priority in the president’s fiscal 2023 budget proposal are more reforms to federal internships and hiring processes.
Applications for the 14-week fall internship program will be open from June 6 and June 24, and those chosen to become interns will be notified by August 8.