- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

LIBERTY, Miss. (AP) - An official with Alcorn State University has asked Amite County supervisors to undertake an internship program for area business students.

“Part of my job is to create new internship jobs for my students. This is one way for them to learn the real-world dimensions of government work,” ASU Coordinator of Internships and Grants Daye Dearing told the Amite board. “Who knows? Maybe later you’ll like them enough that they will work for you in the future.”

Chancery Clerk Ronny Taylor said he often employs college students. Most recently, Taylor hired students to help with the county’s efforts to digitize all land records.

The Enterprise-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1ObpNA4) the internships would be in any office supervisors choose, depending on need.

“These can be anywhere you fill you could use the help. I want you to treat them like real employees and they should feel like they are working for a real employer,” Dearing said.

Dearing said Adams County has implemented an internship program in its accounting and chancery clerk’s office and Wilkinson and Claiborne counties have similar programs.

In approved, interns must be a student in the School of Business at Alcorn State. The university requires the intern be employed by the county for no less than 20 hours a week in the summer and at least 15 hours a week in a fall or spring internship.

Work dates follow the beginning and ending of the academic semester. The length of a summer internship is typically 10 to 12 weeks for the summer and 16 to 17 weeks for the fall or spring semesters. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be enrolled as a business student and be a junior or higher.

Wages are set at the discretion of the agency providing the internship.

Dearing proposed a pay scale for supervisors to consider if they decide to adopt the internship program. She based the suggestion on information from the Department of Labor.

“This is totally up to you as far as payment goes. You aren’t required to pay them, but we suggest at least minimum wage,” she said.

The board seemed positive toward the proposal but tabled the matter until Monday’s meeting.

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com

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