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Drury's Edward Jones Center helps companies hire quality interns

For Immediate Release: July 15

Contact:
Dr. Kelley Still
Director of the Edward Jones Center
Office: (417) 873-6357
E-mail: kstill@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 15, 2010 — Unpaid interns at for-profit companies are rare nowadays due to the Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act that requires that most private companies pay their interns. College students struggling to find summer internships in light of the labor rules was recently detailed in the New York Times.

A new grant program through Drury's Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EJC) is helping for-profit and not-for-profit companies change their internship models to comply with the law and attract quality talent.

In May, St. Louis-based financial-service firm Edward Jones donated $15,000 to Drury's EJC to fund 10 interns at $1,500 each. So far, six Drury University students and one Missouri State student are benefiting from the grants. The students are gaining experience at: Oxford Healthcare, Southwest Area Manufacturers Association, Urban Districts Alliance, Furniture Gourmet, web developer Classy Llama Studios and two interns are working at Wonders of Wildlife for the summer.

"The companies we chose to receive these grants had to apply and explain how the student would benefit from the internship," says Dr. Kelley Still, director of the EJC. "Our hope is that these grants will allow more companies to provide valuable work experience for our students, and that the ability to pay will help them attract quality talent. Students shouldn't have to choose between income and career work experience."

The Department of Labor lists six criteria that a for-profit company must meet to offer unpaid internships. Even if an internship provides college credit, the company is still not exempt from having to pay or meet the Department of Labor criteria. Not-for-profit organizations may offer unpaid internships.

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was founded in January 2007 through contributions from Drury Board of Trustees member John Beuerlein, his wife Crystal, and Edward Jones, a St. Louis-based financial services firm. The vision of the center is to arm entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge necessary to create new, innovative ventures.

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