FAQ’s for Employers- Hosting an Intern or Youth Employee

What’s in it for me?

Hiring a youth intern is a direct investment in our community and our workforce. Not only does job experience significantly increase a young persons likelihood of finishing school and entering a meaningful career, giving that experience to our Central Oregon youth increases our skilled workforce and talent. Internships are a pipeline for workers in your industry, and hiring interns gives you the chance to vet potential job candidates. Interns and youth employees also have the potential to directly meet the needs of your business today. There are numerous success stories from employers of internships across sectors in Central Oregon. Prepare to be surprised by the value of hiring a young intern of employee.

What is the difference between an internship and a job?

An internship can be paid or unpaid. In terms of employment law a paid intern is treated as an employee. Internships are typically more time bound than jobs, with a start and end date outlined before hire, although this is flexible depending on what the employer and intern agree to. Both internships & jobs have a training component to them, although an internship is often seen as a good opportunity for ample training and development for young people in a specific industry or field.

How do I decide whether to have a paid or unpaid internship?

Youth CareerConnect urges employers to pay their interns, although unpaid internships are an option if paid internships are not. The main reason to pay a young person for work experience is to give them the sense of accomplishment in having earned a wage.  The positive outcomes we see for youth in research are around paid work experiences. This is what we believe give young people a sense of personal responsibility and accomplishment that make them valuable contributions to our Central Oregon workforce.

Who covers human resources paperwork, workers comp, etc.?

You can decide to do the hiring process internally or go through an Employment Agency, depending on what is easiest for you. We have partnered with Express Employment Professionals, who will cover the whole hiring process, distribute payroll, and provide workers compensation for young interns and employees at a discounted rate.

Do I have support if problems arise or if an internship isn’t working out?

All Youth CareerConnect partner organizations that match interns have a point of contact for support throughout the internship should problems arise. If a young person is not working out in your business, you can end the internship or employment when needed.

What steps do I take to hire an intern or young employee?

Find a role for an intern or young employee in your business and outline terms of internship (timeframe, compensation, job responsibilities)

Follow our 5 steps to a successful internship model

Download our employer toolkit, which includes a checklist that aligns with the 5 steps and it contains useful information on Oregon employment laws

Contact your local internship coordinator, they will connect your organization with high quality local interns.

Set up interviews with potential intern

Once the intern is hired, complete the HR process as you would for an entry level employee, either internally or through Express Employment Professionals (at a discounted rate through Youth CareerConnect)

First day on the job!

Our youth development & education partners will continue to support you as the employer and the youth intern through the whole process

Where can I go for more information and resources about how to host an intern of youth employee?


Youth CareerConnect

Youth CareerConnect is an initiative of Better Together, working to advance the collective impact of educators, businesses, governments, and youth development organizations.