WCMA Internship Grant Program

Statement of Policy Purpose
The WCMA Board of Directors has identified the importance of preparing the next generation of public managers for the responsibility of leading our public institutions. Preparation through internships within local governments will inspire students to learn about the profession and potentially devote their careers to public service. In addition, the valuable experience provided through internships will prepare these individuals for the challenges and opportunities of a career in public service.

WCMA will provide funding for both summer and year-round internship programs which must be matched by the local county or municipality. The summer internship program is established with the goal to create a sustainable undergraduate or graduate summer internship program to attract top talent into the profession. However, the county or municipality that is applying does not have to create an ongoing internship program to qualify for the grant. This could be for a onetime internship within a county or municipality.

The second program is designed as a year-long program-based internship targeted at graduate students, but undergraduate internships will be considered. WCMA will provide funding in its annual budget to assist counties and municipalities with creating internship programs that continue beyond the tenure of an individual student. The funding would be greater in the initial year and decrease in each sequential year to assist the municipality with phasing the program into their annual budget.

I. Internship Programs
Summer Internship
WCMA will provide the host agency with a check in the amount of the grant award, not to exceed $2,000, to be matched by the host organization. The host agency and the intern will determine the appropriate start and end dates for the internship, work schedule, and pay rate, based on the total internship budget (which may be greater than $4,000, based on the duration and budget of the host organization; however, the WCMA funded sponsorship shall not exceed $2,000 regardless of the overall host organization budget). WCMA funds are to be used solely for this program. Payment to the organization by WCMA will be made upon verification to WCMA that the successful county or municipality has hired an intern. The internship program can be used to sustain an existing internship position; however, priority will be given to new internship positions in the organization. Summer internships can be designated for graduate or undergraduate students. Managers are encouraged to secure matching funds prior to applying. Internships shall take place during the calendar year in which the scholarship grant has been provided.

Year-Round Internship
While WCMA grant funding for year-round internships are mostly designed and targeted towards graduate level work, WCMA will still consider applications for year-round undergraduate internships. WCMA will provide the host agency a check per the following schedule:
• Year 1 allotment will be $4,000
• Year 2 allotment will be $3,000
• Year 3 allotment will be $2,000
• Year 4 internship will be fully funded by organization
The host agency and the intern will determine the appropriate start and end dates for the internship, work schedule, and pay rate, based on the total internship budget (which may be greater than allotted funds, based on the duration and budget of the host organization; however, the WCMA funded sponsorship shall not exceed the budgeted amount in any given year regardless of the overall host organization budget). The county or municipality must demonstrate in the application the desire to use the intern for at least one full year. WCMA funds are to be used solely for this program. Payment to the organization by WCMA will be made upon verification to WCMA that the successful county or municipality has hired an intern. The internship program can be used to sustain an existing internship position; however, priority will be given to new internship positions in the organization. Internships shall start their year-round internship during the calendar year in which the scholarship grant has been provided. Managers are encouraged to secure matching funds prior to applying.

WCMA Scholar Internship Program Timeline
March 1: Internship grant proposals due from cities, villages, towns, and counties interested in hosting a WCMA Scholar Internship.
March 15: Scholarship and Awards Committee selects and ranks cities, villages, towns, and counties. Based on the quality or number of applicants, it is possible in any given year that no intern scholarship will be awarded.
April 1: Finalist municipalities/counties are contacted in the order of ranking to determine funding availability. Organizations will be contacted until all grant funds are awarded.
June 1 (for summer interns): Finalist cities, village, towns, or counties notify WCMA of funding for matching share and the time-period for the grant.
August 1 (for year-round interns): Finalist cities, village, towns, or counties notify WCMA of funding for matching share and the time-period for the grant.
• If the budgeted amount of grant funding is not distributed to the grant-winning organizations due to the inability to secure an intern or if there is money left over after grant awards are made, other organizations may submit an internship grant proposal for unspoken funding if they identify the need for an intern. The organization must submit a proposal per the guidelines above.

 II. Award of Grant Funds

Award of the grant will be based on the following:
  • Matching funds are required to receive a grant award
  • A grant submission must include a position description containing the type of work to be completed by the intern and a plan detailing how the county or municipality will contribute to the intern’s education and exposure to the different aspects of county or municipal management
  • Applicants who have not received a previous award will be given preference

There will be an agreement between WCMA and the organization receiving the graduate level program grant. The amount of a grant award is determined by the number of applicants and availability of funds. The Association has the right to terminate the agreement for any reason upon ninety (90) days advanced written notice of intention to terminate. The Association has the right to terminate the agreement for any reason upon ninety (90) days advanced written notice of intention to terminate.

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