PCEDC internship program earning high marks
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Students and employers in the internship program piloted by the Pike County Economic Development Corp. are midway through their first session, and organizers are pleased with the success.
“It’s been terrific,” said Dr. Mike Hall, who created and manages the program for the PCEDC. “We have 14 students participating now, and my goal is to have 20 to 25 participating next fall.
The internship program is designed to give high school seniors the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in their chosen fields. The students in this first class come from three area high schools – Pike Liberal Arts, Goshen and Pike County. Students are working at a myriad of local businesses, from vets to attorneys, accounting firms to arts organizations, food processors to media companies. Participating business agree to pay students minimum wage during the internship, and hours are scheduled to accommodate classwork and extracurricular activities.
“This has been a win-win,” Hall said. “The kids are getting real life experience and the businesses are getting to interact with the students.”
To mark the halfway point in the program, the students and employers gathered for a lunch at the PCEDC offices on Tuesday. With hamburgers and hotdogs cooked by the PCEDC executive committee, the students visited with former Troy mayor Jimmy Lunsford and talked about their experiences with the internships.
Hall said he plans to begin recruiting soon for the fall class.
“We’ll be looking for the next group of students to join this program,” he said. “It’s a stringent application process. Students have to have good conduct in school, complete an application and write an essay. They have to have three recommendations and complete an interview process as well …
“If they are selected, we try to partner them with the participating business that suits their interests.”
Hall said the program would not have succeeded without the support of the local businesses. “They have been great.”