Saturday, May 31, 2008

Paid Internship-United Way

Paid Internship

Reports to: Program Officer
Department: Community Investment, United Way

Summary of Position:

Under the general direction and guidance of the Director of Economic and Workforce Development, the Financial Stability Research Intern will analyze the performance of United Way’s innovative savings program for low-income households in the Los Angeles County known as the Ramp-Up Accelerated Savings Account Program (RUASA) that was piloted in 2007. A distinguishing aspect of the Ramp-Up accounts is that they subsidize the interest on participant deposits.

While offering structured savings products that include meaningful incentives for low-income households is a major step forward in helping families make the most of their earned dollars, marketing these products is a challenge that remains to be tackled. In most cases, marketing savings products during tax time is seen as an effective way to help families save money, mostly because the products are offered at a time when working families experience an inflow of additional dollars from tax refunds. However, issues related to accessing tax refund dollars have created opportunities for commercial tax preparers to offer short-term loans in anticipation of the actual refund, commonly known as Refund Anticipation Loans or RALs. These loans effectively reduce the amount of tax refund dollars and make it even more difficult for low-income families to save. The Financial Stability Research Intern will conduct research, surveys and interviews and create a report that will assess the demand for RALs and offer recommendations on how to develop alternatives to RALs at Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

After conducting interviews and literature review on RALs and savings products, the Financial Stability Intern will create a test and a control group of the low-income savers in UWGLA’s IDA program. All savers in UWGLA’s SFAD program have income levels less than 200% of federal poverty level. The intern will then monitor any difference in savings activity for both groups of Ramp-Up and non-Ramp-Up savers. The intern will also contact Ramp-Up participants and will create a questionnaire and conduct a survey of the importance and effectiveness of incentives, marketing, etc. A final report will document the findings on Ramp-Ups and offer recommendations on RALs.

* Research existing reports and data
* Conduct interviews with subject matter experts
* Conduct statistical analysis of saving patterns of existing savers
* Compile information into report format

Additional Functions:

* Work in a cooperative manner with community leaders and community groups
* Maintain records, reports or files
* Select materials needed to complete work assignment
* Store completed work assignments in appropriate locations

Job Qualifications:

* Must be currently enrolled full-time in college or graduate school and be planning to return to school in the Fall of 2008;
* Good knowledge of community economic development
* Ability to effectively manage one’s time and organize workload and assignments;
* Proficient in the use of computers including Microsoft Office software products and Internet research.
* Mobility; ability to complete own reports; ability to communicate with volunteers, staff and public.
* Strong organizational and follow up skills.
* Bilingual English Spanish a plus.

This is a paid internship position for 11 weeks.

If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to or fax it to (213) 808-6484.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions based on merit. Our policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local law.

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