THE INTERNS: High school students participate in PCEDC program

Published 3:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fourteen students from the four high schools in Pike County are participating in the Student Internship Program offered by the Pike County Economic Development Corporation.

Dana Sanders, program director, said this is the third year for the program that is designed to give high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to gain work experience prior to graduation.

“The focus of the Pike County Economic Development Student Internship Program is to work with local schools and businesses to prepare a qualified work force,” Sanders said.

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The students gain real-world experience in their chosen field as the businesses make an investment in their community.”

Sanders said the student workers do some of the entry-level work and that frees employees for other tasks.

“This year, we have students from all four of our local high schools,” Sanders said.

“We greatly appreciate Dr. Mark Bazzell of Pike County Schools and Rebecca Baggett of Pike Liberal Arts Schools for their continued support of this program. They both have been involved since the program was initiated in 2016.  We welcomed Troy City Schools this year. All four of our local high schools are well represented in this program and I am excited about the opportunities for growth in this program.”

Participation in the PCEDC Student Internship Program is through an application process.

“Students must complete an application, write an essay and participate in an interview,” Sanders said. Good conduct in school is also a requirement.

Once students are accepted into the program, all efforts are made to partner them with a business that suits his or her interest.

“The students are required to work 145 hours during each term, fall and spring. That works out to 10 to 12 hours a week,” Sanders said. “Their time at work is scheduled around their classes and their base pay is minimum wage.”

The Student Internship Program has received high marks from both the students and their employers. The partnership among the PCEDC, the local schools and the business community is an example of how communities work together to provide opportunities that benefit all entities, Sanders said.

“The Student Internship Program would not have succeeded without the support of our local businesses,” Sanders said. “We greatly appreciate their support and the participation of our local schools. We have high hopes for the Student Internship Program to continue. We look forward to seeing it grow and succeed.”