Due to interns having increasing difficulty finding affordable housing for this summer, Owens Corning is looking to provide support beyond the help it already provides: offering relocation assistance to and from the internship location, and arranging housing or providing a housing stipend.
“It is important to provide relocation assistance and housing to create equity among interns,” explains Mandy Metcalf, Owens Corning’s early career talent management leader.
Owens Corning believes providing housing and/or relocation assistance for interns is important, in part, because it gives all interns the opportunity to relocate.
“In turn,” Metcalf explains, “this gives them a chance to experience growth opportunities to advance both personally and professionally.”
Metcalf says that Owens Corning will have 105 interns this summer. All will be in-person, with some having a flexible schedule.
The interns come from all over the United States; in addition, some are international students. They will be working in finance and accounting, human resources, information services, marketing, operations, sales, supply chain and sourcing, digital manufacturing, and research and development.
“This year has been challenging for our interns to find housing compared to previous summers,” Metcalf explains.
“We have listened to their feedback and are looking at how we can support them even more in finding affordable housing. We hope the result of making these changes will be that our interns feel even more supported in their efforts to relocate. That way, their attention can be focused less on stressful pre-employment tasks, and more on the impactful work and experiences they will gain during their time with OC.”
She notes that the majority of Owens Corning’s corporate interns are housed together. For example, at its headquarters, interns are housed in a college dorm. However, living in proximity is just one of the ways they connect.
“We have lots of connection points prior to the interns starting and throughout the summer,” she says.
“We offer many opportunities virtually as our interns are all over the U.S., but we also offer some in-person [offerings]. These connection points give interns opportunities to interact with peers, mentors, diverse organizations within the company, and leadership at all levels of the organization.”
She says organizations that don’t provide housing and/or relocation assistance for their interns run the risk of interns not applying or accepting the offers because of the financial cost to relocate and find affordable housing.
Says Metcalf: “While employers may face budget constraints, providing leadership with the reasoning and data as to why it is important to be able to provide these benefits to interns can help them address and overcome these challenges.”