The pilot program aims to match students with companies for internships

Southold is setting up a pilot program to match students with companies looking for interns, city officials said during Tuesday’s working session.

The program aims to both address a need for qualified personnel in local businesses and help match students with potential career paths.

“Businesses are crying out for help,” said Denis Noncarrow, the government liaison officer. “We hear from a lot of parents and students, basically, to try to organize a better system to make available jobs for children, to get them to learn and to train.”

It has not yet been determined whether interns will be paid. Mr Noncarrow said it would depend on the career path and the skills they acquire.

“I imagine it is possible to get paid a few hours a week, but maybe when he leaves school and does a full-time internship, maybe three months of unpaid internship”, he explained during the meeting.

Youth Bureau director Lynn Nyilas said she also plans to set up the program so that the first 50 hours may not be paid before opening salary talks. Schools could also offer credits.

“We are looking for students who may not necessarily need a college degree for the field of employment they are looking for,” Ms. Nyilas said. “Maybe it’s the non-traditional kids who aren’t necessarily looking to go to college, but are looking for some sort of training, whether it’s in agriculture. [or] shellfish fishing.

Nicole Helf, a Certified Career Services Provider in the Southold School District, said that while East End schools have “wonderful BOCES programs,” the district is limited in where they can send their studies. students. Greenport only uses Riverhead BOCES, and Southold and Mattituck only uses Riverhead and Bellport BOCES.

“Islip is BOCES ‘paradise, but at the kilometer level the districts are not able to send that far,” she said. “There are a lot of students, more and more every year, who leave and stay here, which is wonderful but they are not properly trained, they do not have the opportunity to be ready to enter the market. work.”

She pointed out that there are businesses in the community that are willing to devote time to training students. The Labor Department allows 54 hours of on-the-job learning, she said. “The hope is that at the end of this training period… they will be hired.

Ms Helf said the program does not make any promises to companies and it is understandable that they cannot commit to the program. She stressed that it is oriented towards education.

“With an internship program, especially if we’re looking at school credits, there has to be an educational component to that,” she said. “So it can’t just be the baptism of fire, and I understand it’s great in some situations, but there has to be that learning component. ”

The hope is that students explore areas of interest to them and acquire the ’21st century soft skills’ needed in a professional work environment, such as on time, problem solving skills, communication skills. , collaboration, creativity and flexibility, among others.

The pilot program is expected to start in the fall and last for two years. It will be minimal at first, with only a few students from each district. The goal, said Ms. Helf, is to prepare students who wish to enter a trade in the post-secondary world and to provide businesses with skilled employees.

Students would be lined up for interviews with companies that match their professional interests, where they could strike a work agreement. Program organizers also hope to match students with a mentor outside of the workplace, like – perhaps – people from Peconic Landing or the Economic Development Committee.

Mr Noncarrow said that right now the team plans to showcase their help to schools and then show the business community how the program will work.

“There are more details to work out as we go, but the general details are in place,” he added.


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