Program offers UW Tacoma students paid internships at City Hall, United Way of Pierce County

A new program at the University of Washington Tacoma aims to pair students with local agencies and businesses for year-long paid internships that emphasize community-based learning.

The City of Tacoma and United Way of Pierce County will be the first agencies to officially participate in the Institution-to-Institution Internship Program. Each will take on two UW Tacoma students who will spend a year lending their skills to the institutions while learning to apply their education to the world around them.

“These internships not only are a terrific new opportunity for our students, but they also are at the core of what it means to be an urban serving university,” said Lisa Hoffman, UW Tacoma’s special assistant to the chancellor for community engagement. “The university is committed to finding ways to work with dedicated community partners to establish new partnerships with mutual benefits.”

“Major institutions in the community have an important role to play in the education, professional development and continuing support of UW Tacoma students,” added UW Tacoma Chancellor Debra Friedman. “We are pleased to formalize these partnerships.”

Internships are available at the City working with cybersecurity and in the City Manager’s office. At United Way, interns will work in Social Media and Marketing and Community Education and Resource Development. Students who are accepted into the program will be paid through UW Tacoma to earn money to help fund their education.

“We are excited to engage the UWT students, future community leaders, in philanthropy,” said Maureen Faccia, Executive Vice President at United Way of Pierce County. “This experience will expose the students to hundreds of local area businesses and programs funded by the United Way Community Solutions Fund. They will understand the most pressing issues facing individuals in Pierce County and join in being a part of the solutions.”

The model was tested over the past year with internships at the Museum of Glass and Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound and is now being officially rolled out. The university hopes to increase the number of available internships by establishing partnerships with additional local businesses who are or wish to become a key partner with UW Tacoma. Each new partner will work with the university to develop the best content, structure and application process for student workers.

Applications are now being accepted for students interested in one of the four available internships. To apply, contact Julia Smith at or call (253) 692-5895.