Successful High School internship program expanding
Dora’s internship is with Algonquin Industries, a sheet metal fabrication and machining company in Bellingham. Courtesy photo
Program benefits students and employers
By Linda Chuss
Over the past year, 31 seniors at Milford High School spent their school-day afternoons working at nearby businesses.
“These internships provide students with a chance to develop valuable, practical skills like reading blueprints or getting OSHA certifications,” said Deb Monteiro, a Career Counselor at the high school. “And they build confidence. Students are typically paid for their work, with many picking up extra hours on weekends and holidays. After graduation, some are employed fulltime by the same company. In general, their experience gives them a leg up.”
MHS Associate Principal Bill Chaplin explained, “The program was developed to address needs expressed by students for real-world career training. And workplaces are challenged finding employees with suitable skills. This partnership allows businesses to help fill their needs, while offering valuable opportunities to our students.”
At Wirefab in Worcester, Peter advanced to performing welding in less than two months into his internship. Courtesy photo
This year, the school introduced a pilot program in the manufacturing sector. Six seniors have been working at companies like Waters Corporation and Algonquin Industries.
“We want to expand the manufacturing program,” saidChaplin, “to round out the kinds of opportunities for students and because there is a big need to fill roles there.”
“Internships can be in any field where there is a career pathway for the students,” said Monteiro, noting an intern with the Hopedale Fire Department described the experience as ‘some of the best days in my high school career; I learned many lessons about the job and life.’
“Businesses need to be close enough so students can readily travel there each weekday,” explained Chaplin. “They need to have openings in the afternoons that are permissible for young adults to work at. We’re currently looking for positions for the fall semester.”
The program is available to any senior with sufficient academic requirements fulfilled.
“We discuss the option in 10th grade and, in the spring of junior year, students pursuing that path are matched with an internship that interests them,” said Monteiro. “They earn academic credit for their internship. What they may miss in the afternoons [in school] are elective classes. Interns also take a work-based learning seminar, tying theory to practice, with topics like résumé building and interviewing skills.”
These internships also supplement an existing program in which students interested in becoming educators can work helping teachers in Milford classrooms.
“Students and employers are very enthusiastic about all our career training options…and we’re pleased to add to them,” said Chaplin.
Employers interested in offering internships should contact [email protected] or [email protected].