Subsidies available for nonprofits, women-owned and other businesses to hire student summer interns

Student interns

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are short-staffed may be able to get assistance paying the salary of a summer intern through the Future Leaders Project (FLP) grant available at Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW).

Businesses owned by women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community members, veterans and community-based organizations are encouraged to complete an online application between October 2 and November 2 to request a subsidy to pay the wages of a summer intern.
Online applications are due by Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 5 p.m. and can be accessed at

The Future Leaders Project (FLP) is an initiative of Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) and Washington State University Vancouver (WSU Vancouver) that aims to help cultivate diverse leaders for our community. FLP connects students from communities that have experienced longstanding inequities and exclusion and first-generation college students with employer-sponsored summer internships, providing growth and professional development opportunities.

Internships are an invaluable tool for both students and businesses. The young adult gets hands-on, real-world work experience and the organization gets new energy and perspective, skills and visibility in the community.

Not all organizations have the means to pay for a student intern. The new grant through WSW is available to subsidize student pay for a limited number of nonprofits, community-based organizations and businesses owned by women, veterans, and members of BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ communities that would like to host a WSU Vancouver Future Leaders Project student intern in summer 2024. WSW secured a grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to pay the wages of the interns as they gain work experience by assisting local nonprofits and small businesses that might not otherwise be able to afford a student intern.

Companies can learn about the Future Leaders Project and hiring interns by contacting Nolan Yaws-Gonzalez, Senior Project Manager with Workforce Southwest Washington, at or 360.567.1066.

WSU Vancouver students should contact Bill Stahley, WSU Vancouver Employer Engagement Coordinator at or 360.546.9273.

Hosting FLP interns provides companies with benefits, including:

  • Innovative ideas and fresh perspective.
  • Support for projects employees might not have time to complete.
  • A proven, cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential permanent employees.
  • Opportunities for staff to gain supervisory skills by mentoring and managing interns.
  • Effective ambassadors for your organization, as interns often help increase the visibility of their host organization with their peers and family members.
  • Opportunities to promote community involvement and demonstrate your organization’s commitment to workforce development – an excellent public relations tool!

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