First I am pretty sure they are required by law of their state to pay people who work for them. I think its actually illegal for them to have volunteer work (I could be wrong, but this has come up before).
While you are correct in that the foundry has a low priority, there is a difference between being low on the list because no one cares enough about it, and being low because everything else is more important.
i do believe the foundry is important, and they would love to see it developed further. whether that justifies putting a highly skilled dev on it, to waste their talents on what sounds like almost anyone could be trained to do is probably not worth it, but if they are looking to hire people, then for a fairly low wage it might be a good investment. I'm sure there are other office duties that person could do as well.
if some of the top missions are getting 20, 30, 40k of plays then there must be a demand for it, and making the foundry better is only going to help them game.
I don't know about the legalities abut internship work in CA. That could be a valid point. If so, it may be unfortunate in this case.
But as for how much they care about the Foundry, I'm sure it varies from person to person. Maybe DStahl cares, I don't know. The problem is PWE is calling the shots. If you look at everything that has been done since PWE took over, it makes perfect sense only through the prism of monetizing the game.
There isn't an easy way for them to make money off the Foundry, so it is never going to get much funding assigned to it. Sure it improves the game, I agree with that wholeheartedly, but in my case you're preaching to the choir. Unfortunately, I think that sort of indirect connection between resource allocation and game income is too large for the bean counters to understand. And it probably doesn't help our case when the most played missions end up being grinders.
I don't disagree that the Foundry needs a lot of work, and ideally someone should be paid to port over assets, but for the reasons stated above I'm just skeptical it will happen. But for what it's worth I support the general idea just in case my opinion somehow carries some weight.