Groups plan student internship program

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JANESVILLE - Rock County 5.0, Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) and the Southwest Workforce Development Board are offering a new internship program to provide students with work experience and employers with future employees. For more information, employers and students can visit YourRockInternship.com.

The deadline for students to apply is Monday, April 30. Employers are encouraged to apply prior to that date.

The Rock Internship Program is available to any high school student who is a junior, at least 16 years old and resides in Rock County. The internships, which pays $10 per hour, runs from June 18 to July 20. The positions are funded by Rock County 5.0 and administered by Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. Employers also pay a fee to participate in the program.

Students will work at their internship Monday through Thursday and attend a career building activity each Friday at BTC. Interns also will go on a field trip to a local business.

Some employers already have signed up to participate including Foremost Media, Rock County and Diamond Assets. Organizers are encouraging more employers to apply.

Kerry Osmond, BTC community enrichment manager and internship coordinator for the Rock Internship Program, said interested students must indicate their career interests and submit a resume and letter of recommendation from someone at their school.

Students will then be matched with an employer. Osmond said she will visit interested students at their school to discussion potential positions and help them prepare for an interview. The employer will make the final decision whether to move forward with a student.

Students and families will be invited to a graduation ceremony luncheon where students will provide a short capstone presentation about their internship experience. Osmond said she will help students prepare for their final presentation.

Organizers are excited what the program will offer students and employers.

"It's a great opportunity for students to get resume building, interview and networking experience as well as increase their communication and team building skills," Osmond said.

Osmond said Rock County Development Alliance Economic Development Manager James Otterstein approached BTC with the idea for the internship program.

"Stakeholder feedback, from both the business and education communities, and direction from the Rock County 5.0 Advisory Council were catalytic with respect to exploring and then subsequently launching this structured, earn-and-learn offering that could build upon and leverage existing investments that were already active within the market," Otterstein said.

The work team modeled the internship program after similar programming in Tennessee and Texas.

Otterstein said commitments from BTC and the Southwest Workforce Development Board were critical elements to launching the program.

"We are extremely grateful for their engagement in this strategic talent pipeline development initiative," Otterstein said.

As of April 20, nearly 20 students had submitted applications.

For more information people can contact Osmond a at kosmond1@blackhawk.edu or call her at 608-757-7728.

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