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Coastal Workforce Services

Coastal Internship Program

Community Challenge/Problem

As college and technical school students complete their studies and are ready to graduate, many face a major hurdle because they lack real-world experience in their fields of study. Employers are reluctant to take a chance on a recent graduate with no work experience, because of the learning curve and the need to have an employee who can contribute to the company as soon as they commence work. A solution was needed to match current students with area employers so they could gain work experience, getting them a "foot in the door" and offering the employer exposure to upcoming workforce talent.

Board Solution/Innovation

During 2010, the Coastal Workforce Investment Board and the Savannah Technical College developed and conducted an innovative internship program. This program emphasized real training opportunities at small and large companies and governmental organizations. The response from the business community was large and very positive, with 15 coastal area businesses participating. WIA funding was used for program development activities and Savannah Technical paid a stipend to those in the internships. Overall, 32 students participated, with 24 receiving the stipend.

Outcomes & Results

All the students performed well, and nearly half of the student trainees obtained full time employment at their employer sites at the end of the internship. These career jobs were in such areas as welding, accounting, industrial painting, drafting, electrical work, and business management.

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