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Paid internships partner industry with students

 

ELIZABETH HEFFNER

Staff Writer

 

For the third consecutive year, manufacturers across Lincoln County are offering paid summer internships to local college students.

Selected students would have the chance to focus on projects, problems and processes to encourage work experiences and build their resumes. The program, sponsored by the Industrial Manager’s Association, works to encourage students to return to Lincoln County upon graduation and invest themselves in their home community.

“The Industrial Manager’s Association came up with the idea as a way to encourage students pursuing professional degrees to come back to the community and put their degrees to work and reinvest in their community,” Lincoln Economic Development Association Existing Business Manager Kara Brown said. “It’s not just a summer job; it’s an investment in their future.”

“The IMA is committed to the development of college students from Lincoln County as evidenced by our continued support of the summer internship program,” Location Director for Robert Bosch Tool Corporation and Industrial Manager’s Association Chair David Lee said in a press release. “Manufacturing companies get valuable service from eager participants while providing hands-on experience to the students, which is invaluable when searching for a full-time position. The intern initiative is another chance to showcase Lincoln County businesses and the opportunities we provide for all our citizens.”

To qualify for the program, any current student who has Lincoln County residency and has finished at least their sophomore year of college is eligible to submit a cover letter and resume for consideration. Lincoln Economic Development Association will act as a clearinghouse for the summer program candidates. From there, applicants’ resumes will be distributed to participating businesses for consideration. According to Brown, participating industries have included Actavis, Robert Bosch Tool Corporation, Sabo, Tenowo and Steele Rubber Products.

“I believe that we’ve had several success stories,” Brown said. “One is that one of the college students interned twice. He was an accounting major, and after the internships, he realized that wasn’t what he truly wanted to do and changed his major. So, he learned that before he ever had to learn it the hard way. On the other hand, we had an engineer that completed an internship that was then hired by the company immediately after his internship.”

According to Brown, the association has received about 22-24 applications per summer from qualified candidates that meet the criteria.

“Previous experience has been that it’s really all about a match,” she said. “We’re looking at what industries have a need and which students would make the best matches.”

From there, six to eight students are placed among the various industries. In order to prevent unnecessary competition between companies, all interns are paid $12 an hour.

“They’re not just filling in for people on summer vacation,” Brown said. “They’re working real, meaningful projects. These college students are working on their professional skills, and they can bring to the industry new technology and insight. The industries can learn from the students just as much as the students can learn from the industries.”

Brown stresses that with local industries facing employment challenges on every level, the program has become more important than ever.

“In a lot of cases, our industries are really struggling to find key people to fill these positions they have available, and they’re having to recruit out of state,” she said. “So, if they can encourage local college students and residents to consider coming back, it’s a win-win. They’ll get their education and then we’ll bring them back to become part of our community again, rather than going somewhere else and become involved in a recruiting endeavor in another community. “

Those interested in applying should submit their resumes and cover letters to kara@lincolneda.org. The deadline to apply for the summer internship opportunities is April 15, 2014. For more information, call Kara Brown at the Lincoln Economic Development Association at (704) 732-1511, ext. 2.

 

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