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White House to pay interns for first time in history

Washington — The Biden administration will mark a new milestone in the fall when it pays its class of White House interns for the first time in the nation's history, the White House announced Thursday.

Funding for interns participating in the White House Internship Program comes from legislation President Biden signed into law earlier this year, and offering the paid internships will allow more opportunities for low-income students and further boost diversity across the Biden administration, according to the White House. 

Participants will be paid at a rate of $750 per week, with stipends disbursed in two installments: around the start of the program and after completion.

"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 White House said. "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."

Put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, the internship program will relaunch in the fall with a 14-week, in-person program on the White House campus. Interns are required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and adhere to White House protocols on masking, testing and social distancing.

Those selected to participate in the program will support the White House Office and the Office of the Vice President, and are assigned to work across more than 20 departments.

"President Biden and Vice President Harris have committed to building an administration that looks like America, believing that qualified people from every background and walk of life should have equal opportunity to serve our Nation," the White House said, adding "That commitment is reflected in each White House Internship Program class."

Since taking office, Mr. Biden has taken steps to boost equity and diversity within the federal workforce. An executive order signed just after taking office in January 2021 directs federal agencies to reduce reliance on unpaid internships and fellowships to expand opportunities available for low-income students and first-generation professionals.

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