Paid student internship program: A win-win for local students and businesses | Business

Shaun H. Ruff

Businesses in Santa Maria can now request the help of local high school students through the Partners in Education Job Readiness & Internship Training Program.

Partners in Education (Partners) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The Paid Job Readiness Training & Internship Program prepares high school juniors and seniors for the workforce and provides paid opportunities to explore potential career paths, while also developing transferable skills.

Since its recent expansion to North County, the program has admitted dozens of Santa Maria Valley students into its eight-week program is now seeking internship placements with Santa Maria businesses.

The job readiness training covers resume building, networking, interview skills, job etiquette, and even financial literacy and personal budget planning, all with the help of a volunteer serving as a career coach. As a result, businesses hiring interns can rest assured that their new hires have a foundation in workplace knowledge prior to entering their doors on the first day of work.

Businesses may hire interns for either remote or on-site support, and can expect 80 total hours of support at a discounted rate. Thanks to local support from donors and foundations, Partners supplements a portion of the cost of interns’ wages, making it affordable and convenient for small businesses.

There are students ready for hire in your area year-round! We recommend that you contact Partners in Education as early as possible, even if you do not plan on hiring an intern for several months. Starting the process early ensures that your intern is ready to go at the same time as your workplace or project needs.

President of Bethel Engineering Santa Maria, Russell Garrison, hired a student from the program in June and notes, “[The student] has been prompt and reliable. He seems to be more and more confident interacting with engineering professionals and asks good questions. We would highly recommend participation in this program for the benefit of our future industry professionals and the experience it offers.”

Not sure how an intern’s support can fit with your needs? Partners staff are more than happy to offer a consultation and propose projects for interns. Partners can even provide interns with computers and tools they may need for remote work. Many organizations are now discovering the benefits of getting extra support at a discount to them while helping a local student with their first job.

By hiring a local intern, you are giving our future workforce valuable work experience while also getting a motivated, professional employee to assist your business. Contact Partners in Education today about the possibility of hiring an intern. We can’t wait to hear from you! [email protected] or 805-964-4710, ext. 4401.

Jason Anderson is the Digital Producer for the Santa Maria Times. He can be reached at 805-739-2213

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