Pierce County Paid Internship Ecosystem

Our directory centralizes and promotes paid internship opportunities, ensuring streamlined access and strengthening ‘earn while you learn’ opportunities across the region.”

About Paid Internships in Pierce County

$1,128,715 Earned by Interns 

478 Interns & 180 Pierce County Businesses

82,992 Internship Labor Hours 

*Estimated Collective Impact across the region since 2019. Updated December 2023

Benefits to Interns

  • Skill Development: Interns acquire industry-specific skills and knowledge. This practical experience is often more immediate and applicable than classroom learning, aiding in the transition from academia to the workforce.
  • Networking Opportunities: Interns get the chance to connect with professionals and experts in their field of interest. These connections can be crucial for future job opportunities and career advancement.
  • Increased Employability: Paid internships often make a candidate more appealing to future employers. The experience gained is seen as valuable, and the commitment to a paid position often reflects positively on the individual’s work ethic and reliability.
  • Enhanced Confidence & Professional Identity: Engaging in a paid internship helps young adults develop a sense of professionalism and builds confidence in a workplace setting. It allows them to understand their career interests and goals better, fostering a clearer professional identity.

Benefits to Businesses

  • Talent Pipeline Development: Paid internships help businesses build a pipeline of skilled and experienced potential employees. It’s an effective way to evaluate and groom talent for future full-time positions, reducing the risk of bad hires.
  • Fresh Perspectives & Innovation: Young adults often bring new ideas, approaches, and technologies to the table. Their unique perspectives can invigorate a company’s culture and processes, driving innovation and improvement.
  • Employer Brand Enhancement: Businesses that offer paid internships enhance their reputation as socially responsible employers invested in community development. This improved employer brand can attract higher-quality candidates not just for internships, but also for full-time positions.
  • Skills Gap Mitigation: Internships allow businesses to train individuals in the specific skills and knowledge they need. This proactive approach can help address the skills gap many companies face, especially in fast-evolving industries.

Paid Internship Programs in Pierce County

Work Experience (WEX) Program

About this program

The (WEX) Work Experience Paid Internship Program is designed for young adults aged 16-24 that provides real-world work experience and career development opportunities. Participants can earn up to $5000 while gaining valuable skills and building professional networks.

SEED Internships

About this program

Seed Internships invests in the vibrant future of the Puget Sound by identifying exceptional college students and recent grads from underrepresented backgrounds, and matching them with top, local employers.

Jobs 253

About this program

JOBS 253 offers Tacoma Public School High School students the opportunity to earn high school credit for graduation and the opportunity to gain paid meaningful work experience.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - Washington State Department of Social & Health Services

Pre-Employment Transition Services

About this program

Pre-Employment Transition services are available from The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to young adults with a documented disability who are currently enrolled in school. Specific eligibility requirements apply.

Life Launch GO

  • Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region

About this program

Life Launch GO is for young adults 18-24 that are either justice-involved or a direct referral from an agency or school. If you have a young adult that would benefit from furthering education with a certification program, Job placement, Soft skills, life skills, mentorship, violence prevention and a team that is there to help them with any barriers, feel free to reach out.

About this program

The Summer Fellowship Internship (SFI) supports students who would like to gain experience interning for nonprofit or public sector organizations. Through a competitive application process, students are selected to engage in the Tacoma community and represent the University of Puget Sound in cultivated internship positions.

Pierce County Internship Program

About this program

Pierce County’s Internship Program is designed to provide a meaningful and educational work experience, honing your skills and expanding your professional network along the way. Internships are full-time, paid positions for the summer. There are potential openings in departments such as Human Resources, Communication, Parks and Recreation, Human Services, Finance and more! An internship with Pierce County is your opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives every day, as each employee plays a role in supporting a livable Pierce County.

Upcoming Internship Convening

May 2024

WorkForce Central organizes regular convenings for internship program leaders to encourage networking and collaboration. This initiative aims to share best practices and address challenges collectively, fostering continuous improvement in internship programs across Pierce County. For more information about the convening, please reach out to our Business Solutions team at creed@workforce-central.org


Are you a business interested in hosting an intern? Use the form below to connect with our Business Solutions team for assistance connecting to any of Pierce County’s paid internship programs.

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