2024 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Floor Approved)

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SCHEV - Restore Internships

Item 132 #7h

Item 132 #7h

First Year - FY2025 Second Year - FY2026
Education: Higher Education
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia FY2025 ($9,000,000) FY2026 $14,000,000 GF

Page 191, line 6, strike "$46,104,707" and insert "$37,104,707".
Page 191, line 6, strike "$28,382,518" and insert "$42,382,518".

Page 192, strike lines 27 through 52 and insert:

"I.1. As a condition of this appropriation, $12,000,000 the first year and $17,000,000 the second year from the general fund is designated for the Innovative Internship Fund and Program, § 23.1-903.4, Code of Virginia. The funding is designed to expand paid or credit-bearing student internship and other work-based learning opportunities (internships) in collaboration with Virginia employers.  In furtherance of the goal of providing all postsecondary students in Virginia with one or more paid internships during their undergraduate course of study, funding shall be used for: (a) institutional grants to enhance engagement with employers related to internship placement and to assist students in securing and successfully completing internships; (b) matching grants to small and midsize Virginia-based employers to enable increased paid internship participation by small and midsize businesses and nonprofit organizations; (c) promotional expenditures to encourage expansion of internship programs and participation by business and nonprofit organizations in Virginia and to increase recruitment and retention of students; and (d) administrative and other expenditures to accomplish the purposes of the Innovative Internship Fund and Program and this paragraph.

2. Institutional grants shall be awarded to support initiatives that are expected to produce significant increases in student participation in paid and credit-bearing internship programs. Institutions shall be eligible for grants upon demonstrating (a) that it is a bona fide priority of the institution and its senior academic and administrative leadership to expand internship participation by students, to incorporate internships in curricula, and to report completion of internships and courses that include internships on student transcripts, and (b) that the institution has put forward an achievable plan to advance such priority, including the allocation of resources and assignment of dedicated personnel to facilitate placement of students in internships and to engage with employers directly or through intermediaries for the purpose of developing internship opportunities.  In determining the amount of grant awards, the Council shall consider the number of undergraduate students enrolled at the institution, the number of students at the institution who participate in internships, and the numerical and percentage increase in internship participation expected to result from the initiative. In addition, the Council shall increase grant awards based upon the following factors: (i) an institution's emphasis on internships that are part of pathways to full-time employment with Virginia-based employers; (ii) the institutional initiative's alignment with specific state or regional programs or partnerships related to economic growth and diversification or workforce development in Virginia; (iii) an institution's strength of commitment as reflected in its reallocation of institutional funds or solicitation of philanthropic support or business partnerships to support the initiative. This funding is intended to be recurring for institutions that demonstrate substantial yearly progress in achieving the objectives of the initiative as measured by the number of internships successfully completed by students.

3. Matching grants to small and midsize Virginia-based employers that provide paid internships shall be awarded by the Council according to criteria established by the Council in consultation with the Virginia Department of Workforce Development and Advancement, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the Virginia Talent and Opportunity Partnership. Such criteria shall include: (a) limitation of eligibility to for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations, excluding institutions of higher education, with physical operations and facilities in Virginia and 150 or fewer Virginia-based employees; (b) certification of employer eligibility by the Council following a training program of reasonable duration and agreement by the employer to reasonable mentoring and reporting obligations; (c) limitation of grant awards to reimbursement, not to exceed $7,500 per internship, for a maximum of one-half of wages, including FICA, and workplace subsidies, including transportation, housing, and other internship-related expenses, paid to or for the benefit of a student participating in a qualifying internship; (d) definition of a qualifying internship as a paid work-based learning experience of a duration, not to exceed twelve months, sufficient to allow the student to gain significant valuable work experience that is provided to a student currently enrolled in, or having received a degree or credential within the preceding twelve months from, a public or private institution of higher education operating in Virginia; (e) limitation of qualifying internships to a number not to exceed four internships annually per eligible employer. Funding may also be used to support staffing agency services related to intern recruitment for employers with 250 or fewer Virginia-based employees that are otherwise eligible for matching grants under this paragraph, provided that no employer shall be required to receive staffing agency services as a condition to eligibility for matching grants.

4. The Council, with and through the Virginia Talent and Opportunity Partnership, and in consultation with the Virginia Department of Workforce Development and Advancement, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board, public and private institutions of higher education, and business and nonprofit organization stakeholders, shall develop and execute a promotional plan to raise awareness and foster expanded internship programs and participation by business and nonprofit organizations in Virginia using a combination of public and private resources. The plan shall highlight the Commonwealth's goal to provide paid internship opportunities to all postsecondary students and shall provide for public recognition of employers based on their level of participation in internship programs. The plan shall include continued development of regional collaboratives among employers, educational organizations, and other regional stakeholders for the purpose of expanding internships in alignment with regional growth and diversification strategies and state and regional economic and workforce development initiatives. The plan also shall address the objective of encouraging secondary students in Virginia and outside Virginia to attend Virginia-based institutions of higher education and remain in the Commonwealth after completion through paid internships and pathways to full-time Virginia-based employment.

5. In administering the program authorized in this paragraph, the Council shall (i) engage stakeholders from business and industry, secondary and higher education, economic development, and state agencies and entities that are successfully engaging employers or successfully operating internship programs; (ii) explore strategies in Virginia and elsewhere on successful institutional, regional, statewide or sector-based internship programs; (iii) gather data on current institutional internship practices, scale, and outcomes; (iv) develop internship readiness educational resources, delivery methods, certification procedures, and outreach and awareness activities for employer partners, students, and institutional career development personnel; (v) pursue shared services or other efficiency initiatives, including technological solutions; and (vi) create a process to prioritize industry sectors and track key measures of performance in collaboration with the Virginia Office of Education Economics."


(This amendment corrects funding imbalance proposed in the introduced budget and restores previous funding for the Innovative Internship Fund and Program. In addition, program language is modified to reflect the goals of the next phase of this initiative.)