In Featured News, Young Adults, Youth

Internship programs are a vital piece of our workforce system, giving businesses the opportunity to recruit emerging talent, gain fresh perspective and have an extra hand to assist with projects your team might otherwise not have time for.

Workforce Southwest Washington is thrilled to announce that we have grant funding to subsidize the cost of hosting a Future Leaders Project (FLP) intern for a limited number of organizations thanks to the generous support of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Priority will be given to nonprofit organizations and businesses owned by BIPOC individuals, women, veterans and LGBTQ+ individuals.

FLP is an initiative of Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) and Washington State University Vancouver (WSU Vancouver) seeks to connect students from communities who have experienced longstanding inequities and exclusion and first-generation college students with employer sponsored summer internships, providing growth and professional development opportunities.

“WSW is proud to bring this opportunity to nonprofits and businesses whose owners are BIPOC, LGBTQ+ or veterans. These organizations are vital to the growth and economic success of our community, representing over 2,200 of Clark and Cowlitz County businesses,” said Nolan Yaws-Gonzalez, Senior Project Manager, who oversees WSW’s investment in the FLP. “Through this funding, we hope to help these organizations increase capacity and connect with up-and-coming talent.”

In 2023, grants from WSW funded internships at Clark County Food Bank, Fourth Plain Forward, Partners in Careers and YWCA Clark County. This year, WSW received $100,000 from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation that will be used to fund approximately 13 internships in Clark and Cowlitz counties.

FLP offers many benefits to host businesses. Interns bring new ideas and perspectives, and support for projects that employees otherwise might not have the time to complete.

“The energy and fresh perspective the intern brought to our organization brought a sense of renewal and energy for some of the PIC staff members in addition to the remarkable deliverables,” said Sharon Pesut, Executive Director of Partners in Careers.

Other benefits that the FLP project provides are a proven, cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential permanent employees and opportunities for staff to gain supervisory skills through mentoring and managing interns.

Interns also can boost the visibility of their host organization on campus and with their peers and family members. This program gives your organization the occasion to promote community involvement and demonstrate your organization’s commitment to investing in the career development and growth of our community’s future workforce.

“Future Leaders interns bring the best and brightest to our community organizations with a diversity of backgrounds and impact areas. We, as a community, benefit from the strength and impact of the FLP Internship Program,” said Marlene Ashworth of the Clark County Food Bank.

Applications are now open for summer 2024 grant funding!

Applications are due by November 2, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Members of the FLP team will be reviewing and scoring applications by early December.

Apply now

Businesses interested in learning more about FLP and hiring interns, please contact our Senior Project Manager Nolan Yaws-Gonzalez at or 360.567.1066.

WSU Vancouver students should contact Bill Stahley, WSU Vancouver Employer Engagement Coordinator at or 360.546.9273.


The Future Leaders Project is supported by PY23 allocations of $97,195 (51% of total) U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration federal funding and $93,000 (49% of total) non-federal funding from the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.

Workforce Soutwest Washington logo
Skip to content