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NCI plans to expand internship program

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The New College Institute (NCI) will expand its summer internship program in 2013 and open it to residents from outside the area.

Last year, the program had 32 interns. Next summer, it hopes to provide at least 50 internships, according to Katie Croft, coordinator of NCI’s internship program.

Also, the program now is open to residents from outside the area, and housing will be provided for those interns who qualify.

Qualifications for housing — including a permanent address of at least 45 miles outside the Henry County area — will be featured in the NCI summer internship program guidelines and application for the 2013 season, Croft said.

She added that the priority will go to local students before non-local students are considered for the internship program.

The program is being expanded thanks to increased support from the New College Foundation and The Harvest Foundation, she said.

“They believe in the program. They see it as a really great potential recruiting tool for attracting and retaining positions that we may have skills gaps in the community,” she added.

NCI is working with the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. and the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce on a one-year consortium to recruit students for the program, according to Croft. They are targeting career services offices at universities in Virginia, North Carolina and beyond, she said.

The internships provide paid hands-on work experiences and demonstrate potential career opportunities available in the area to young professionals upon graduation.

The program also is intended to help local employers looking to recruit and “test-drive” potential employees at a low-cost investment.

“Martinsville-Henry County has a variety of world-class industries and career options right in our backyard,” Croft said. “The NCI summer internship program is one way to showcase the community to college students who will be looking for a place to start their career. Whether the interns are ‘homegrown’ —originally born and raised in Martinsville–Henry County — or ‘transplants’ that are looking for a great place to live and work, the NCI summer internship program is one tool in a community effort to attract and retain young professionals that can ultimately benefit the local work force and the community.”

Selected NCI interns will work 320 hours between May and September 2013 at a rate of $12.50 per hour.

Interns potentially can earn up to $4,000 over the summer.

Employers, meanwhile, are expected to invest $1,000 of that amount toward the wages of a first-time intern and $2,000 for a returning intern.

The New College Foundation and The Harvest Foundation provide the rest of the earnings.

In addition to fulfilling their internship job requirements, interns are required to attend professional development and social networking activities coordinated and provided by New College Foundation and the Harvest Foundation.

Interns also must take on various civic responsibilities, including attending local government meetings and fulfilling community service hours with local nonprofits.

Students are encouraged to customize their internships along the lines of their career interests.

Students and employers should jointly apply to the program by Feb. 15, 2013.

NCI will host an internship program information session from 6-7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the NCI King Building at 30 Franklin St. The session will be open to any interested student or employer.

Matthew Moore, an Old Dominion University student and 2012 NCI intern, praised the program.

“I was able to learn from an experienced employee within information technology at Commonwealth Laminating and Coating Inc. It was great to gain a useful, quality experience in the IT field with an international company located right here in Martinsville-Henry County,” Moore said.

On the employer side, Piedmont Community Services (PCS) has participated in the internship program. Ron Hairston, human resources director of PCS, said he recommends the program to other employers.

“PCS has been a very satisfied participant in the NCI Summer Internship Program. Over the years, we have been fortunate to hire several of these NCI interns as full or part-time staff members,” he said.

NCI will maintain an ongoing list of potential internship opportunities collected from local employers on the NCI website. Students are encouraged to use this list as well as seek options for internship sites with employers in Martinsville-Henry County or the surrounding areas that match their skills and career interests.

Students and local employers interested in applying for the program can access the application guidelines on NCI’s website (newcollegeinstitute.org) after Nov. 26.

Guidelines can be found on the website under the tab labeled “Community Outreach” and then within the link labeled “Internship Opportunities.”

Employers who want to apply for a student also may send NCI a description for an internship position. NCI can post the description on its website.

Ongoing assistance for applying is available through NCI’s support staff. For more information, call Croft at 403-5609 or email kcroft@newcollegeinstitute.org.

 

 
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