On Aug. 23, Payroll City, a Colorado Springs-based company that provides cloud-based software for payroll and human resources for its clients, announced in a news release that the company is looking to hire an intern as young as 16 years old.

This is the first year Payroll City has hired paid interns to gain hands-on experience in coding and programming, and if they plan to pursue their education after interning, the participant will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Payroll City.

This summer Payroll City hired two interns, Aaron Fox, 16, who attends Falcon High School, and Luke Hentschel, 18, who is now attending Diablo Valley College in California. Both interns were paid hourly and worked from June to August on new software, called Sparta, that the company plans to launch in early October .

The software is an update to Payroll City’s current website, which will provide more convenient and easy access to the site’s database for clients across several technology platforms. On Sept. 28, Payroll City will provide a preview of the new software for invited guests.

Fox and Hentschel worked primarily on coding and programming the new software, said Adam Aley, strategic development manager for Payroll City.

“We wanted to give young people the opportunity to have a viable option here,” Aley said. “So that’s where we wanted to give the opportunity to young folks to come in and work an internship while in college or leaving high school. … It help keep our local talent here.”

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Payroll City wants to hire its next intern by the end of September, according to Kathleen Fox, president of Payroll City, who said that she was amazed by the talent of the two young recruits.

“We were amazed at the talent that’s there,” she said. “These kids are sharp and their minds are quick to learn — they’re used to learning.

“Really they’re moldable; they’re pliable. They suck it up like a sponge if that’s what they love to do,” she said.

According to the release, interns will learn the latest enterprise software and hands-on programming and coding techniques.

Adam Fox, CTO of Payroll City, said that although he was hesitant to hire young interns to program and code, he was impressed by their adaptability — one of whom is his son.

“I was surprised with what they were able to do,” Adam said. “Honestly, their ability to conceptualize abstract things in their mind … to be able to do that and apply that in their coding [is amazing].

“The more they learn the more productive they became and … they learn so quickly. It didn’t take a lot of time to grasp concepts,” he said.

Adam said that it was beneficial for the company and the interns to teach each other new updates in the programming and coding industry for their new software.

“By having all of us working and collaborating on this project, they would look up new features on this project I hadn’t been aware of,” he said.

Adam said he would encourage other businesses to look at hiring younger interns based on what the success of Payroll City’s program.

“I think businesses are a little bit hesitant because they don’t know about reliability and accountability of youth,” he said. “From what I’ve seen is they’re very devoted and dedicated — they have high level of commitment.”

“With that you get skills that maybe haven’t been developed with a lot of years of experience, but in my mind I think it gives something back to them as well — it prepares them a little better for what’s actually out there in career opportunities for them.”

For more information on the intern program, visit payrollcity.com/careers.