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Here’s why you should pay your interns

There are few endeavors more enriching or beneficial for college kids than a summer internship.

It both complements and supplements their studies, and offers a glimpse into a potential career path. The responsibility lies on the kids to pursue the internships, but the employer should not look at it as free labor. Interns should be paid.

Don’t follow Washington’s lead by getting forced, kicking and screaming, into paying them.

If you cannot afford to pay interns, then at least invest the time to mentor them — they’ll be better for it and you’ll be better for it.

If you can afford to pay, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do for these kids, and it is equally rewarding for company culture.

It will come as no surprise that in a $20 trillion economy, most politicians didn’t pay their interns until Congress carved $14 million out of the budget passed in September 2018 to finally pay them this summer.

And don’t look to the champions of a federally mandated minimum wage.

Literally 95 percent or 174 of the 184 bill co-sponsors had unpaid interns, according to the Employment Policies Institute analysis.

From our area it was Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who all stiffed their interns, according to data collected in 2017 by the advocacy group Pay Our Interns.

Remember, this isn’t them paying with their precious donor dollars; it is our taxpayer money that is used.

School may be out and the economy and job market may be the best in over a decade, but entry-level positions, especially coveted ones, are still ultra-competitive.

Potential hirers look to see what college students did over their summer. They want to evaluate their professional and interpersonal skills, so it does you well to invest time, money and effort into making them good prospects for the job market after they graduate.

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