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Abstract

Hospitality management programs across the nation increasingly favor internship programs in their academic curriculum. Internships play an important role in the reputation of academic program by widening the network with the industry and recruiting prospective students. However, little consideration has been given to the economic impact prompted by internship programs. This study focuses on the economic impact of paid internship over a regional economy. Paid-internship programs prompt economic transactions incurred as a consequence of payment of wages to the internship students in exchange for their labor inputs in the industries’ delivery of goods or services. In 2012, a total of 2,676 students took internship courses in Central Florida required by their academic program. Students were paid on average of $9.34/hour, and worked for 25.1 hours/week, resulting in total wages paid to all internship students of $10.5 million in a year. The total economic impact to the region was estimated at $17.2 million.

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