Mobile County Public Schools is looking for a few good businesses to partner with its summer internship program.
MCPSS Assistant Superintendent for Workforce Development Larry Mouton and Signature Academy Coordinator Kristi July welcomed business leaders to a meeting this week to share the opportunities available in MCPSS’ summer internship program and the value that students can bring to their businesses.
“The purpose of the internships is to expose our students to business and industry in fields that give them an opportunity not only to utilize the skills they’ve learned in school but to continue to grow and hone those skills, and to see what the world of work looks like,” July told the group in a conference room at AIDT. “Our students are positively impacted by the opportunities that your companies offer them.”
Last year, more than 100 students were given paid internships at 38 local companies, working at least 15 hours a week for at least, and sometimes more than, four weeks.
One of those students, Citronelle High senior Brendi Arthur, said her internship at Outokumpu Stainless helped her chart a course for a future career.
“That internship changed my life,” said Arthur, who has been studying auto mechanics at Citronelle. “I knew I was interested in electronics and maintenance, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with it. When I began this internship, it opened up a whole new world to me. I was on their maintenance crew and we did all kinds of stuff — we changed belts, conveyors, pumps, valves, and I welded a whole lot. I loved every minute of it.
“My incredible mentors molded me and taught me not to be afraid to step into a man’s world. I can get dirty and I can work with the best of them, just like anybody else.”
The program offers benefits to participating companies as well. Students are matched with companies in career fields in which they have an interest and some training through one of MCPSS’ 12 Signature Academies, bringing basic skills with them into the internship.
John Blackwell, president of local broadcasting company Seymour, said his business has benefited from providing opportunities to students. One of them, Willie Thomas of LeFlore, has since been hired by the company.
“If you’re not working with students, you’re missing out,” Blackwell told the group. “I often hear that students are the future generation, but they’re the now generation. What you do to impact their life now is going to impact your future. We’ve got to instill the things we want them to achieve right now. We’ve got to harness the energy they have, harness the enthusiasm.”
In addition to the MCPSS internship program, Anitra Belle Henderson of the City of Mobile presented information about the city’s YES (Youth Empowered for Success) program, in which the city partners with businesses on both sides of the bay to provide summer job opportunities for young people. You can learn more about YES at www.yes251.org.
Learn more about MCPSS’ Signature Academies at signatureacademies.schoolinsites.com.
Internships available through the program for 2018 will be posted at mcpss.com on Feb. 5 and the application period will be from Feb. 5 to March 2. Employer interviews will be held March 19-30 and students chosen for the program will be matched with their internships on May 3.
Internships will begin on June 4, 2018, and last at least until June 29, with the possibility open for extension.