Business and education leaders in Augusta, GA, have announced a new Students2Work initiative that will place 250 Richmond County School System high school students into eight-week, summer internships, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Advisory Council put several months of work into developing the program, which educators say will give students a chance to apply what they’re learning in the classroom.
To be eligible, the students must be at least 16, enrolled in a district school, and pass a drug test and a background check. School guidance counselors, teachers and jobs-skills coaches will select students for the internships using a “special scoring rubric,” according to the article, and 100 local businesses have already agreed to sponsor interns at $2,100 each.
The Richmond County system joins the growing number of school districts looking to give students real-world work experience while also planning for future workforce needs. Before they start their internships, students will also get some training in “soft-skills” from local business leaders to familiarize them with some of the qualities that employers find valuable.
While many high schools have implemented career academies, there has been a more recent push toward partnering with businesses to give students real on-the-job experience. In New York City, for example, 600 high school students are participating in a new career and technical education Industry Scholars program in which they’ll gain paid experience in fields such as finance, media, transportation, technology and hospitality. Internships are even now considered part of a turnaround model, as in the example of this Chicago school.
In an earlier Educational Leadership article, Eliot Levine writes about internship programs at two high schools and provides guidance on some of the issues administrators should consider when beginning such a program.