After winning $15, Seattle council targets unpaid internships


By Delaney Foreman | Freedom Foundation

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has found a new pet project to reduce opportunities for students seeking to enter the workforce. The soapbox-loving $15 Now Socialist recently preached at the University of Washington Social Work graduation ceremony on the need to terminate university-required, unpaid “practicums” or internships. Unbeknownst to her, however, these so-called “abominations” are often a golden ticket for students seeking to stand out to prospective employers.

Unpaid internships have become the new norm as students seek to get a leg up on finding work post-graduation. Increasingly, an expensive Bachelor’s degree is required — but not sufficient — for new job-seekers. Today, educated Millennials without basic job experience are constrained in entry-level jobs, and it’s hard to underestimate the value of practical work experience, paid or not.

at Freedom Foundation.