Kent County and WC partner on internship
Kent County and WC partner on internship By DORIAN MITCHELL
email@example.com Jan 3, 2017 CHESTERTOWN — Kent County and Washington College have partnered on an initiative designed to bring both students and the local community together, called “Innovative Internships.”
Kent County Economic Development Coordinator Jamie Williams said the program is a “project-based paid part-time internship,” intended for one semester.
The program began last fall and applications are now being accepted for the spring semester.
Williams currently has an intern working in her office. Other businesses that have participated in the program include Dixon Valve & Coupling Co. of Chestertown, Chesapeake CNC Manufacturing of Chestertown and the Inn at Huntingfield Creek in Rock Hall.
Williams said the program resulted from brainstorming by college faculty and members of the economic development office on how to connect students with the community.
“We talked about youth retention in the county and this program definitely provides a foundation for that,” she said. “It gives businesses and organizations the ability to help the local workforce, get fresh ideas about how to improve and also understand the new generation.”
Washington College Interim Associate Provost for Academic Services Andrea Lange said she matched students’ résumés and majors with the needs of a business.
“What’s unique about this is that it is not just an internship,” she said. “Students are presented a specific problem that requires them to explore different solutions.”
Lange said the challenges can range from handling an organization’s social media to figuring out new methods to better market a business.
She said the intern’s time is divided between solving an issue and learning about day-to-day operations.
Williams said her intern, senior Ali Nolan, has been instrumental in promoting the economic development office’s online presence.
“I say ‘Here’s what I’m trying to accomplish’ and she just runs with it,” she said. “She’s been great with handling our social media.”
Williams said students receive academic credit.
“The number of credits they earn depends on the department they are a part of,” Lange said.
She said a recent survey reflected positive feedback from both businesses and students participating in the program. She said other students have expressed interest about joining this semester.
“It allows students the chance to be in a consultatory position for a business,” Lange said. “Not only do they learn a lot and enjoy solving problems, they also get a better feel on how to run a business in Kent County.”
Williams said it costs $1,200 for organizations to participate in the Innovative Internships program. She said her office and other businesses will retain their interns for the spring.
“Any organization can come forward and take part in this. We ask that they pay the intern at least the minimum wage,” she said. “We wanted a win-win-win that benefits everyone and this is it.”
For more information on the Innovative Internship program, visit www.kentcounty.com/economic-development/incentives/322-innovation-internships.