Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy DeFoor visited PennWest University’s Clarion and Edinboro campuses Oct. 20 to announce the department’s new Intern to Hire program. The stops were part of his 14-campus tour of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education universities.

Intern to Hire, which DeFoor launched Oct. 18, guarantees jobs in the Department of the Auditor General to students who complete internships there, have favorable performance reviews, and graduate from college with at least 12 accounting or IT credits.

“This new program is an exciting step in the right direction when it comes to keeping young individuals living and working in Pennsylvania,” DeFoor said.

Students who are enrolled full time in a declared bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university and who have completed at least 60 college credits are eligible to apply.

Ryanna McCann, president of PennWest Clarion’s Accounting Club, introduced DeFoor and praised Intern to Hire.

“The more opportunities for students, the better,” McCann said. “You never know what students will do with these opportunities.”

DeFoor said the program originated to address staffing needs in state government. Nearly half of the current employees are nearing retirement age.

“If you think that recruiting at commonwealth universities is a way to deal with a staffing problem, you are correct,” he said.

DeFoor urged students to pursue the Intern to Hire program for the many rewards it offers, including predictable hours, competitive salary, tuition assistance for job-related training, health insurance and paid time off. He added that employees in the Department of the Auditor General are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which forgives the balance of student loans after 10 years of qualifying payments.

The internships and many of the positions can be done remotely.

“As a regional comprehensive university and a member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, we are committed to providing affordable, career-focused learning opportunities for our students and to meeting economic and workforce needs across the Commonwealth,” said Amanda Brown Sissem, PennWest’s associate vice president of Alumni Engagement and Edinboro campus administrator. “The ‘Intern to Hire’ program is a win for Pennsylvania, a win for PennWest University and, most importantly, a win for our students.”  

Dr. Kreag Danvers, professor in PennWest’s finance, accounting and economics department, asked about flexibility for employees in choosing what work they want to do and opportunities for advancement.

DeFoor said the Department of the Auditor General must operate within certain requirements and standards; as long as those standards are met, employees have flexibility. Critical thinking and innovation are encouraged and rewarded.

“Whatever the best ideas are, that’s what we’ll go with,” DeFoor said. “Employees can advance relatively quickly.”

More information about the Intern to Hire program and career opportunities is available at or by following Pennsylvania Auditor General on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.