Pennsylvania Welcomes 25 College Students with Disabilities for Summer Internship Program at State Agencies

Pennsylvania welcomed 25 Pennsylvania college students with disabilities who are participating in paid summer internships at Commonwealth agencies through a program offered by the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I)’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Office of Administration (OA).

“Internships are a great way to gain work experience and exposure to prospective employers, both of which can be challenging for people with disabilities,” said Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver. “Integrated employment opportunities like the OVR internship give these students a chance to prove themselves and dispel misperceptions about the capabilities of people with disabilities to contribute in the workplace.”

“A summer internship gives students the skills and experience they need to launch fulfilling careers and chart their own course,” said L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker. “The OVR internship program shows the next generation of workers the crucial role that Commonwealth agencies play in serving Pennsylvanians — and equips them with the necessary tools and confidence needed to be successful in the workplace.”

Secretary of Labor & Industry Nancy Walker, OVR Director Ryan Hyde, and Acting Deputy Secretary for Human Resources and Management Jason Swarthout met with the interns during their orientation yesterday morning, held in person in Harrisburg and offered virtually for students participating from other locations in Pennsylvania.

The 25 students hail from across Pennsylvania and will be based in Harrisburg, as well as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Johnstown, and Norristown. The interns will serve in OA and L&I, as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Corrections, Environmental Protection, General Services, and Human Services.

In addition to gaining work experience and exposure to Commonwealth employment, the OVR interns will also receive professional development opportunities such as improving their interviewing skills and networking within the Commonwealth. The interns will also be treated to a brunch with First Lady Lori Shapiro at the Governor’s Residence.