Information for Students:
Paid internships provide students who are considering a career in government an opportunity for real world experience. Local governments have also found that internships are a great way to get projects completed by enthusiastic students anxious to show what they can do.
Each year, the Local Government Academy brings students and potential employers together at the Municipal Internship Fair. The intern fair is scheduled for March 27, 2019, where leaders of various governing bodies across southwest Pennsylvania will meet face-to-face with hopeful grads and undergrads. The Project Selection Committee decides upon a diverse pool of submitted projects, covering planning and zoning, budget and finance, economic development, infrastructure, code enforcement, community outreach, sustainability, municipal operations, and public safety.
Pre-registration for the Municipal Internship Fair is closed, but you can still attend the Municipal Internship Fair on Wednesday, March 27, at 12:00 p.m. at University of Pittsburgh at the William Pitt Union. This will be your first opportunity to make an impression with your potential internship employer and will not only elevate you as a candidate for the position, but grant you the opportunity to discover which project is your ideal fit. Bring copies of your resume and read through the guidelines.
The 2019 Projects:
Below is a list of selected projects from local municipalities and government organizations that will be hosting an intern this year. For full descriptions of each project, download the PDF.
Wilkinsburg-Vision 2020 Marketing Strategy Developer
Develop a "Wilkinsburg/Vision 2020" Public relations strategy to promote the community projects occurring in Wilkinsburg in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Use website marketing, Email database, increased social media presence, traditional media engagement, and other methods to ensure public awareness of positive change in the Borough. The effort will include collaborating with a variety of community partners, including but not limited to the School District, Chamber of Commerce, Hosanna House, Chatham University, Community Development Corporation, Community Forge, Churches, and many others. Connect with these partners to form a cohesive strategy that will highlight the numerous investments and initiatives that will occur in the next three years and beyond.
Language Access Plan
A language access plan brings important tools to the forefront of public service. Numerous residents need assistance accessing public information, and local municipalities are a prime resource to provide for those needs. It is also an obligation of municipalities to create accessible documents for the public. Whether a resident is a non-English speaker (or limited English-Proficient), blind, deaf (or blind and deaf), or illiterate, they are still due the same level of service as all other residents. The creation of a language access plan would go a long way towards bridging the current communication gap that currently exists between local governments and their constituents.
Survey of storm sewer mapping and update in GIS
Peters Township Engineering Department
Increase the accuracy and completeness of our storm sewer mapping by collecting data in the field with Trimble GPS device/Arc Collector, and then adding the collected data to our GIS system. After the data is updated and mapped, assist with the creation of a numbering/ID system to identify each structure (manhole, inlet, headwall) in the storm sewer network. The intern will interact with Township Staff and interfacing with our consulting engineering firm to complete this project. The intern will thus get a preview of both public and private sector work environments.
Code Enforcement Program Assistant
The Borough of Munhall has an active Code Enforcement Department which is seeking to transition to a new information system. This information system will allow for a higher level of code enforcement service, planning and analysis for the Borough of Munhall. Transition to this database system will allow Munhall to work with Steel Rivers Council of Governments (SRCOG) to examine violations and enforcement activities in a geographic information system. Much of the recent work of the SRCOG has been about blight mitigation, land banking, and community revitalization; therefore, the intern will have the opportunity to help determine how to support data-driven decisions in those areas within the Borough of Munhall.
Marketing our Main Streets
Our seven (7) communities were devastated when the steel mills closed. As part of Beaver County's Main Street Program, we work with seven (7) low-to-moderate income communities to help revitalize their Main Street Business Districts. Each community has its own Revitalization Organization comprised of community leaders, business owners, non-profit directors and passionate residents. Every year each committee establishes an Action Plan that consists of various activities to promote the community and reduce blight and vacancy. Our Main Street Intern would assist in the implementation of this Action Plan. By promoting events and the assets of our communities, we restore pride in its residents and directly contribute to the economic development or our communities.
Social Media Coordinator and Marketing Liaison
Steel Rivers Council of Governments
The Tri-COG Land Bank (TCLB), staffed by the Steel Rivers Council of Governments, was founded in 2017 to transition vacant and blighted properties to productive reuse. The TCLB is currently part of a marketing collaborative with other nonprofits to develop and implement new marketing strategies. The intern’s prime responsibility will be to steward the relationship between the TCLB and the nonprofits in the development of marketing materials. The intern will be responsible for establishing and maintaining a social media presence for the organization during the duration of the internship, as well as: updating the TCLB’s website, photographing properties, attending community meetings with TCLB staff, attending TCLB Advisory Committee Meetings and Board Meetings, and assisting TCLB staff in administrative tasks.
Intern Engineering & Construction
The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Enhance performance tracking and MWBE attraction and retention. E&C was identified as the department with the biggest potential impact on increasing MWBE results within the URA. Having a technologically savvy intern that can help coordinate and realize ideas such as a social media campaign to attract MWBE contractors would be immensely helpful. Another important task for the intern would be to better interface with departments such as PLI to take advantage of already established resources such as Contractor databases. Having an intern to assist with performance tracking and incorporating spreadsheets will be immediately effective in conveying the importance and the measurable work that we as a department do.
Town of McCandless Sustainability Program
The Town is in the process for applying for the Sustainable PA Community Certification, a voluntary program by Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Municipal League. As a part of this process, the Town is going to be looking at boosting its sustainability credo (including the writing of a sustainability program/policy, the further implementation of sustainable practices and the construction of a sustainability section on the Town's website). The intern will get a practical education in policy writing, writing for an internal audience and writing for an external audience (via the Town website and publications). Additionally, the intern will get a view of how a suburban municipality functions by observing and working with other employees and departments past the intern supervisor.
Capital and Budget Improvement Plan
Green Tree Borough
The Borough maintains a Standard and Poor rating of AA+, and is one of only three communities in Allegheny County to establish such a high bond rating. It is the Borough’s intention to not only maintain its financial stability but to also enhance and strengthen that stability as well. The intern will develop a five (5) year budget and capital improvement plan by reviewing possible reductions to expenditures and increasing revenues, if necessary. The intern will analyze every department’s expenditures and make suggestions on what can be reduced or eliminated, while maintaining the highest level of service for the community. The intern will propose ways to complete this task and possibly introduce other alternatives for cost savings, and will provide evaluations to be used as a guide as to what the possibilities are for an increase in real estate tax and fees, and whether or not an increase can be avoided.
OneStopPGH's Data and Communications Campaign
City of Pittsburgh
The core mission of the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections (PLI) is to ensure public safety and quality of life for all residents of the City of Pittsburgh through enforcement of the building, licensing, and zoning codes. The intern will be responsible for compiling and analyzing survey data and analytics from the Department’s website and assisting in outreach efforts to stakeholders. Data will be used to inform and improve current practices and create new content in a variety of mediums in order to more clearly communicate PLI’s services and how to navigate them. The intern will participate in supporting our efforts and helping to make the ongoing launch of the OneStopPGH platform a success.
MS4 Data Collection, Inspection, and BMP Planning
During the past two summers, Shaler Township has worked to build out our storm sewer system mapping through ArcGIS Online. The system's inlets and pipes have been the focus of recent mapping work. Our goals for this year are to continue our mapping efforts by refining the existing pipe and inlet mapping and mapping outfalls in the Township. In addition to updating our system map, Shaler has been inspecting Inlets and Outfalls as required by our MS4 permit. These inspections are an ongoing process and our intent is to utilize this project to help meet our inspection goals as the features are mapped. As our system is further defined during the project, the intern will use the GIS map to aid in identifying opportunities for Best Management Practices projects that will help achieve our Pollution Reduction Plan goals.
Jackson Township Public Private Partnership Initiatives
Jackson Township, Butler County, lies on the I-79 corridor, immediately north of Cranberry Township. The traditionally rural Township has and is experiencing significant residential and commercial growth, beginning in and escalating since 2014. Over the past five years, the Township has undertaken and completed local and regional planning measures, including a comprehensive plan, recreation and open space plan, capital improvements plan, traffic impact fees, official map, and zoning ordinance updates. The intern will gain exposure to methods of public engagement with a diverse array of residents, businesses, conservation organizations including Wild Waterways and the Connoquenessing Valley Trail Nonprofit. The intern will learn the mechanics of the Neighborhood Improvement Districts process and creation of special rate districts as a means of facilitating public private partnerships.
Route 65 Corridor Study Multi-Municipal Project Specialist
Quaker Valley Council of Governments
Regional highway corridors have a tremendous impact on communities that align them, and our project focuses on 4 areas of impact on 19 municipalities: multi‐modal transportation and technology (including emerging autonomous vehicle technology), economic development, community design, and multi‐jurisdictional decision‐making. The Intern working on this project will conduct research, organize community engagement events, and work with diverse teams of elected officials, municipal managers, academics, businesses, and technologists to inform an approach to future intergovernmental cooperation within the corridor. This project helps municipalities to handle the various impacts, and opportunities, presented by the regional highway corridor.
Preregistration is now closed. If you have not submitted your application, you may register at the Municipal Intern Fair with a copy of your resume. Make sure to read the MIP guidelines.
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