Local Government Academy’s Municipal Intern Program connects local governments with enthusiastic undergraduate or graduate students seeking real-world experience working at the grassroots level. Eligible placement sites include municipalities, councils of governments, and municipal authorities in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Act 47 designated municipalities located in Western Pennsylvania.
The Program provides a reimbursement grant to cover a portion of the intern’s wages. LGA facilitates the match between the placement site and a qualified student interested in one or more of the projects listed below. See the schedule for important dates regarding applications and interviews.
The Municipal Internship Program provides paid internships to graduate and undergraduate students who want to work on real issues facing our communities every day. Internships take place during the summer months, generally beginning in late May or early June and concluding in August.
In a separate application process, local municipalities propose projects they would like to undertake during the internship period. Projects may involve various municipal departments, including planning and zoning, budget and finance, economic development, code enforcement, community outreach, public works, or public safety.
Interns in the program will benefit from:
- Practical, significant experience in local government
- The opportunity to test the skills and knowledge gained in the academic setting
- Experience in interpersonal communication and group dynamics
- Networking with local government practitioners and other interns
- Meeting new contacts for possible future employment opportunities
- The opportunity to learn from others through coaching, supervision, and mentoring
- Experience gained from bridging the gap between the academic and professional worlds
Meet the Interns!
I learned the value and importance of local government to the public in a way I never really thought of before. I also got to see just how much life can be improved for residents at the local level versus the national level like I have learned in my studies. I enjoyed being able to partake in a project that allowed me to directly help the residents of Dormont.
I am not sure where to start. Going in with a very blank slate of what local government is being able to expand my knowledge instantly has been so much fun. Seeing all the intricacies of local government going from contracts, legislation, management, budget, HR, and the legal boundaries[;] it is absolutely incredible everything that I learned.
This program was not only educational, it was fun! It was wonderful to meet so many smart and hardworking students, as well as the staff of LGA who were all so inspiring, supportive, and kind. Being surrounded by these kinds of people encouraged me to work diligently and learn as much as I could during this experience. I would 100% recommend this program to any student interested in working in local government, as well as students without much knowledge of what local government entails, like me.
The community of fellow interns was a great new resource to have people to network with and relate to. I was able to become closer with interns that attend the same university as me as well as create connections at new universities and academic levels. The placement experience fully enveloped me in doing meaningful, helpful work that gave me experiences to guide my career and academic path.
I would 101% recommend the MIP with LGA to any and every one that is remotely interested in local government. The MIP provides grassroots, personal approaches to every aspect of administration, be it for a COG, Borough, or Township.
This internship has helped me develop as a future professional, but also as a general citizen who will now always have an understanding of what goes on within government administrative offices and in other facets of government.
The Municipal Intern Program is a very well-organized and co-beneficial program for both interns and municipalities. It always felt like such a low-risk/high-quality internship because of the support from the Local Government Academy. The pay was an added bonus as the pandemic made both the internship and job search difficult.
Learning all of the ins and outs of public administration definitely helped me with gaining the desired knowledge of local government management. My placement with Reserve provided assistance to all departments within the township and aided residents with information. The Municipal Intern Program is a perfect way to gain professional experience within the field of local government.
As someone who lives in Alabama for school but Pennsylvania for the summer, I have searched for internships in every single state between here and Alabama and this program is super unique. It allows students to learn about government functions and make an impact in the community they are placed in.
I think this is a great program for someone interested in government and public service at any level. I think that local government plays such an important role in people's lives that everyone should have knowledge about it, and working within a local government is a great experience to better understand. It is also a great professional program, even someone interested in a field other than public service can get valuable skills from this internship.
Learning about the pervasive problem of blight in Allegheny County was really eye opening for me. I gained an appreciation for the importance of strategic, surgical investments to stabilize neighborhoods and revitalize communities. It is not always the huge redevelopment projects that achieve the biggest impact or best results. Smart, targeted investments in the right places can have a positive ripple effect across the larger region.
The Municipal Internship Program is open to active undergraduate and graduate students.
Interns are hired by the placement site and will be compensated at an hourly rate of $12.00 for graduate students and $11.00 for undergraduate students. Any student placed within an Act 47 distressed municipality site will earn $12.00 per hour.
Interested students must submit their application and resume online using the "Submit Your Application" button at the bottom of the page. Interns have the opportunity to select up to three projects. Supervisors will contact qualified students for interviews and make their final selection by the date located in the timeline below.
Although successful internships have been completed by students with a wide range of education and experience, the most successful projects have been marked by students who exhibit the following criteria:
- Superior academic credentials, effective interpersonal skills, and strong writing and computer skills
- Past work or applicable volunteer experience
- Interest in or familiarity with local government and community needs such as financial management, planning, computer systems, community engagement, etc.
- Self-motivation and ability to work well with others
January 8, 2024– Program Opens
Applications for intern projects become available on this page.
February 9, 2024 – Placement Site Applications Close
Selected projects will be notified following the next program committee meeting.
February 26, 2024 – Intern Applications Open
Selected projects will be publicly announced and students may begin applying to the program
March 20, 2024 – Intern Fair
The Fair provides opportunities for municipalities to interview prospective interns. Attendance at the Fair is required by at least one representative from each chosen placement site.
June 5, 2024 – Virtual MIP Orientation for Interns
Intern Orientation Workshop. Mandatory meeting for Interns.
June 26, 2024 – 10:00 - 3:00pm – In person Orientation Session
Intern Development Session required for all interns.
July 17, 2024 – 10:00am - 3:00pm – Development Session
Intern Development Session required for all interns.
August 8, 2024 – 11:00am - 1:00pm – Recognition Event
Annual Recognition Lunch – required of all interns and supervisors.
August 31, 2024
The 2024 Projects
Below is a list of selected projects from local municipalities and government organizations that hosted an intern this year, for full descriptions of each project, click here to download the PDF.
GIS- Blight Study & Data Inventory Collection
Borough of Ambridge
Ambridge is seeking an intern to assist in the revitalization of its community. A versatile place, the Borough of Ambridge is recognized as one of the top five up and coming communities in Western PA. It is designated as an environmental justice community. This internship will assist in community revitalization through the preparation of a Blight Study that creates a complete inventory of industrial, commercial, and residential properties. The intern will conduct field inventories to document and evaluate the conditions of properties and structures. This analysis will identify areas, neighborhoods, buildings, and structures of concern such as safety hazards to residents.
Municipal Database and Infrastructure Asset Management Internship
Chartiers Township is seeking an intern to create a database of historical documents and continue to develop and expand our infrastructure asset database for each parcel in the Township. This internship will create a database of historical documents and expand the municipality’s parcel-based infrastructure asset database. The intern will review existing documents included and research archived files for additional information to create a comprehensive database for each parcel. The documents are currently based on addresses and stored in hard copies as well as digitally scanned.
Public Detail Specialist
The Public Detail Specialist is tasked with helping Churchill’s Budget, Budget Narrative, and 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan. Together, these three projects will recommend specific ways to spend taxpayer dollars in Churchill. The intern is responsible for understanding the importance of taxpayer dollars and how their spending aligns with the Borough’s long-term values and desired outcomes. This internship will include preparation of the municipality’s 2025 Budget, Budget Narrative, and 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan. Together, these three projects will recommend specific ways to spend taxpayer dollars that provides transparency to the public.
Technology Coordinator Internship
City of Johnstown
The City of Johnstown is poised for community revitalization and is seeking a motivated intern to assist in modernizing city administration practices including technological applications. The outcome of this effort will be a technology plan for the City of Johnstown that supports the continued growth of the community. This internship will assist in modernizing municipal administration practices including technological applications. The outcome of this effort will be a technology plan for that supports the continued growth of the community.
Business District Revitalization Intern
City of Washington
As part of a 3-year long downtown revitalization project and working on significant foundation funding in conjunction with W&J to creating better connections and conditions for students and staff, the City of Washington is looking to hire a Business District Revitalization Intern. This internship will create better connections and conditions in the municipality’s Business District. A key element of this is to revitalize vacant upper floors in the commercial corridor, which are a detriment to the growth, sustainability, and success of the downtown.
Land Value Tax Exploration
Crafton Borough is seeking an intern to analyze the value of switching from standard property tax millage rates to a real estate tax that focuses on the land value over the property value. Focusing on a land value tax can spur development and prevent private entities from “banking” un or underdeveloped land. The core of this project is an analysis of what would happen if the Borough increased land value taxes and decreased property value taxes. This project will be crucial in assisting elected officials with considering the option of adopting a land value tax in Crafton. Additionally, Crafton has several infrastructure projects ongoing that would be beneficial for any intern to interact with and witness, including a $6.5 million sewer separation project, a trail feasibility study, a zoning code rewrite, and a new public works building.
Southwest Butler Regional Planning Internship
The creation of the Southwest Butler Council of Governments (SWBCOG) promotes ongoing cooperation between municipalities in the region. Its joint planning allows the member municipalities to save costs through sustainable services and joint bidding within the region. In 2017, Jackson and SWBCOG members adopted an Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan. This internship will involve engagement in a multi-municipal planning initiative to update an intergovernmental Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan. The outcome will include a regional Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
Dixmont Cemetery Revitalization and Website Modernization Internship
Kilbuck Township is looking for a motivated intern who has a passion for history, computer skills and is comfortable speaking to a wide range of civic groups and citizens of all ages. The intern will drive positive change in Kilbuck through two main projects: the Dixmont Cemetery revitalization and website modernization. The intern will modernize the municipal website to serve as a resource for residents by first benchmarking industry standards and best practices to understand what content and layout offers the most benefits to residents. Some of the sections that would need to be addressed include a public calendar, community activities, township roles and functions, forms and permits, minutes and agendas, financials, and the Dixmont cemetery database. The intern will research the costs associated and prepare a presentation and recommendation on the most cost effective website hosting option.
Community Revitalization Internship
Borough of Leetsdale
The Borough of Leetsdale is seeking an Intern to perform vital work in advancing our Leetsdale Revitalization Initiative. In their work, the intern will be responsible for constructing a blight database and mapping resource with property condition assessments and a shade tree inventory and arboretum-style tree tagging system. In addition, the intern will have the opportunity to interview aging residents and collect historical photos and booklets to construct a website focused on municipal history.
Community Initiatives Coordinator
Moon Township is seeking an intern to assist in the research, development, and administrative support of Community Development initiatives. In collaboration with the Community Development Department and municipal Boards and Commissions, the intern will prepare communication pieces highlighting the significance of historical and environmental assets. This will include print and digital media outlining a strategy for execution and implementation.
Inter-Municipal Planning Intern
As an area once at the heart of urbanization and industrialization, North Braddock is seeking an intern to support the revitalization of the community. This internship will support various inter-municipal cooperation initiatives that encompass improvements to management practices, modernizing municipal finances, blight mitigation, and police regionalization. The Inter-Municipal Planning Intern will play a vital role in supporting the borough to advance these initiatives through strategic planning, grant writing, and research of best practices to benchmark current efforts. This is a great opportunity for an intern to spearhead municipal initiatives from their beginning stages.
Implementable Comprehensive Plan Analyst
North Versailles Township
Currently, North Versailles Township has no comprehensive plan. This internship will set the foundation for the completion of a Comprehensive Plan that will position the community for economic revitalization and community renewal. The intern will do research, interviews, and make conclusions based on information gathered to begin the stages for an implementable comprehensive plan for the municipality. Quantitative and qualitative research will be conducted as the intern will gather and analyze data needed to identify and address issues and concerns of the present and what the community will likely face in the future.
Parks and Recreation Revitalization Intern
Municipality of Penn Hills
As the design and engineering of the Verona Oakmont Penn Hills Plum Trail Connector ends, it is time to discuss the maintenance and stewardship of the Trail to ensure that the health and sustainability of the Trail continues long into the future. This internship will support implementation of a multi-municipal recreational trail project to address maintenance and stewardship. The intern will work closely with the Public Works, Recreation and Planning Departments to develop a Comprehensive Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan to guide the use of the community’s recreation and open space into the future with an emphasis on the sustainability of the trail.
Human Resources Modernization
This internship will assist the Human Resource department with modernizing their system from their current paper system to an electronic system. The intern will work closely with the Human Resources Administrator to ensure that the Department’s infrastructure has a foundation of consistency, efficiency and modernization to support the growing human capital asset of the Municipal Workforce. The intern will assist the modernization by using and implementing advanced software. This software may include iSolved/CTR, MS Word, MS Excel or TEAMS. These modernizations will help make the office greener by using less paper and physical office supplies, increasing HR efficiency by centralizing documents and information on the ‘got to hub’, and to assist with ensuring compliance with expired certifications.
Community Revitalization & Grant Intern
Stowe Township is looking for an intern to assist in the management and development of multiple initiatives to make the community a more inviting place to live and work. This internship will assist in the development community gardens and support revitalization efforts ,which is part of a larger project to make the community a more inviting place. The intern will gain grant writing experience as they spearhead the community’s application to Grow Pittsburgh. The intern will document potential locations for community gardens through field work and in collaboration with the master gardener. Surveys and interviews with neighbors in the potential garden areas along with the staff at Grow Pittsburgh will provide the proper research and information to develop community gardens. The intern will be responsible for data collection and analysis with the outcome to include a final report suitable for presentation to the governing body, funders, and media.
Budget and Finance Intern
Swissvale is modernizing through using best practices and technology to benefit the residents and the office staff. To support this project, Swissvale is looking for a Budget and Finance Intern. The intern will be completing a narrative budget and budget template for future use in subsequent budget years while also assisting with the implementation of an online bill paying process. The internship will be broken into two finance related projects: The creation of a thorough and detailed narrative budget and the implementation of a new online bill payment process.
Data Coordinator and Rental Property Analyst
Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments
The Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments (TCVCOG) brings together 20 municipalities to work together to find efficient, cost-effective solutions and programs that benefit the member communities and more than 175,000 residents that call them home. This internship will involve multi-municipal planning efforts to document and understand the location of rental properties, who owns them, with an emphasis on Limited Liability Corporations (LLC).
Strategic Plan Coordinator
The Borough of Verona has endeavored to create a stable working environment with consistent leadership to best serve residents and staff. It began reviewing the management processes in-house while at the same time discussing the start of a 5-year Strategic Plan. The Borough is currently working with Dailey Operation Consulting on a Strategic Management Planning Program funded through DCED. This program will allow the Borough to review the strengths and weaknesses of its overall financial position. To assist with the project, the Borough of Verona is seeking a talented, self-motivated Strategic Plan Coordinator intern to work with Council and municipal employees to help develop an outline for the completion of a 5-year Strategic Plan.