The Virginia Talent and Opportunity Partnership (V-TOP) is committed to expanding the number of paid and credit-bearing internships and other work-based learning opportunities throughout the state in collaboration with Virginia employers. One way to help expand internship opportunities is by supporting small to midsize employers with their recruitment and hiring needs. Therefore, V-TOP has acquired the assistance of a staffing agency, iQuasar, to help connect employers with students across the Commonwealth. V-TOP considers small to midsize employers to include 250 or fewer employees. Additional services may apply for employers who have 150 or fewer employees. For more information on eligibility to access the staffing agency services, please see below. 

Staffing Agency Background Information 

 iQuasar is an 18+ year old Northern Virginia company delivering, recruitment, proposal development, digital marketing, software development, and IT solutions to Small and Medium Business (SMB) Government contractors in technology and Civil Engineering verticals. iQuasar is experienced in working with Federal, State, and Local Government as well as commercial clients: e.g., The Federal Reserve Board, United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), Comcast Cable, Department of Transportation, Department of Treasury, Commonwealths of VA & PA. They have expertise in Program/Project Management, Application & System Development, Help Desk, Cloud, Business Process Design, and Cybersecurity. iQuasar is also an authorized Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google Partner. 

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Staffing Agency Services

Services Provided by the Staffing Agency 

 The staffing agency (iQuasar) will assist eligible small to midsize Virginia employers with the following services: 

  • Develop job descriptions to help employers recruit talent. 
  • Market and advertise internship opportunities to colleges, universities, and high schools across Virginia. 
  • Source for potential candidates using queries, advanced search methods, and artificial intelligence. 
  • Screen candidates to determine the next step in the recruitment process. 
  • Plan final interviews in coordination with employers and potential candidates. 
  • Onboard candidates. 

Employer Eligibility Requirements to Access Staffing Agency Services: 

Employers must be registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission to do business in the Commonwealth: 

  • Must agree to the terms specified by V-TOP and iQuasar, the designated staffing agency for the statewide program. 
  • Must use the V-TOP-contracted staffing agency and participate in a prescreening process to determine eligibility for staffing-agency services. 
  • Must operate a physical location in Virginia (i.e., state and local governmental agencies are not eligible at this time). 
  • Must complete six of the eight, free, online, self-paced V-TOP modules that offer best practices for developing an internship program for a small to mid-sized business. 
  • Must propose to hire for a “net new” internship slot (i.e., a company that hired five interns last year must expand their program to six interns). The “net new” designation will remain valid for three academic terms or 12 consecutive months. 
  • Must set an hourly wage for internships (at least the minimum state wage) – no commission and/or bonuses paid beyond or in addition to the hourly wage will be matched. 
  • Must be in business for a minimum of three years unless participating in a formal, competitive, start-up mentoring program. 
  • Must employ 250 or fewer employees for general services with the staffing agency. 
  • Must employ 150 or fewer employees for matching funds consideration (see details below). 
  • Must complete a post-internship survey. 
  • Must respond to a one-year follow-up survey. 

Student(s) Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Students must meet the following general requirements.
    • Students must meet a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for the program. However, employers can require an internal GPA standard. 
  • Students must meet one of the following program requirements.
    • Be enrolled in an undergraduate program. 
    • Be enrolled in a graduate program. 
    • Be a recent graduate within 6-12 months of post-graduation. 
    • Be a dually enrolled high school student. 
    • Be a high school student. 
  • Students must meet one of the following current enrollment requirements. 
    • Part-time or full-time students at a VA public institution or private VTAG-participating institution, resident, or non-resident of VA. 
    • Part-time or full-time at an out-of-state institution, if the student graduated from a VA high school and is still a resident of Virginia. 
    • Part-time or full-time enrolled at a high school in Virginia.
  • After being accepted for an internship, students become employees of iQuasar staffing agency while carrying out their duties for the recruiting company

Ethical Standards: 

V-TOP and iQuasar will follow ethical recruitment practices involving a fair and impartial recruitment process. 

To prevent any unethical behavior or favoritism in the recruitment process: Interns cannot comprise more than 50% of the workforce, cannot be related to the business owner [or any C-suite leaders] and cannot displace regular employees. All internships must be bonafide work experiences for students. 

Additional Programs and Services through the Staffing Agency 

Matching funds program: 

Small businesses in the state may qualify for the matching funds program. This program provides a 50% match of an intern’s wage, including FICA, and a 50% match of additional workplace subsidies, such as housing, transportation, clothing, etc., up to the limits listed in the chart below. Employers must inform the staffing agency of the proposed total package amount before the on-site internship activities begin. The program will provide a match for up to four interns annually for three academic terms or 12 consecutive months per eligible employer. The program offers a maximum one-year limit per eligible employer of $35,000 and a match lifetime limit of $100,000. To qualify for matching funds support, employers must meet the requirements described in the section on how employers can participate in staffing agency services

Need more information?

To get started, contact your regional collaborative or Alisha Bazemore, Assistant Director for Innovative Work-Based Learning Initiatives, at AlishaBazemore@schev.edu. For general inquires, please contact info@virginiatop.org.