Intern program gets high marks

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Pike County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) has initiated a high school student internship program with local businesses and schools participating.

Dr. Mike Hall is the facilitator of the program, which is designed to provide an opportunity to bring together selected high school seniors and employers of local industries to enhance the workforce personnel in Pike County.

Hall said by simulating a real work place and the demands on high school graduates, the participating students will be better prepared to enter the workforce.

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“At the present time, 14 students from the Pike County School System and Pike Liberal Arts School and 11 businesses are participating in student internship program,” Hall said. “The student interns are paid minimum wage.”

At its inception, Hall said a representative from the PCEDC met with seniors at the participating schools and discussed the program and its merits.

“Students were selected through a process that included, but was not limited to, the writing of a narrative explaining why they were interested in the program,” Hall said.

“An application with three references was required. Two of the references had to be from current faculty members and one reference that was not connected to the school.”

Applications were reviewed by school officials and a representative from PCEDC.

The final step in the process was a formal interview by both parties, Hall said.

Once the students were selected for the internship program, the schools set a required number of hours they were to be on site.

“One high school credit will be awarded upon completion of the internship program provided the student has met all of the requirements set forth by the school,” Hall said.

A representative from the PCEDC acts as a liaison between the school administrators and the participating employers and is responsible for on-site visits and bi-monthly progress reports to school administrators.

Students who fail to adhere to the requirements of the program will be dismissed and required to return to their school campus.

Hall said transportation to and from the work site is the responsibility of the student and/or parent.

“Students are required to submit weekly reports to their school administrators,” he said.

“A luncheon sponsored by he PCEDC will honor the students who successfully complete the internship.

“The program is modeling just as we anticipated for students and employers. The success of the program should result in more student and employer participation in the 2016-2017 school year.”

For more information, contact the PCEDC at 334-670-2274.