Biden Administration Sets New Guidelines for Promoting Internships and other Student/Early Career Programs in the Federal Government
In a January 19, 2023 Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released detailed guidance on ‘increasing opportunities for internships, fellowships, apprenticeships, and other student and early career programs in the Federal Government, including paid internship programs.’ In the official memo, all US Government agencies are encouraged to expand their numbers of paid interns and to proactively recruit prospective interns from diverse backgrounds.
Like many employers in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, the federal government has worked to utilize recruiting and training programs that attract motivated and talented people to meet its current and future needs. The recognition of paid internships as a valid and useful way to do this has progressed in fits and starts over the last several decades, and over the last several presidential administrations. This current move reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s intention to spur the public sector to help lead the way for other employers: ‘As the largest employer in the country, we aspire to be a model employer, and agencies can help achieve that goal by having a talent pipeline that begins with exceptional internship programs.’ This move also reflects the Biden-Harris Administration‘s recognition that expanding internships and other student-oriented career programs can be a ‘win-win’ for all parties involved: