Building the Workforce Pipeline: Stay Close, Go Far High School Summer Internship Program
The Stay Close, Go Far High School Summer Internship Program launched as a pilot program in Summer 2022. We recruited a pilot class of 13 local businesses, placing 34 rising junior and senior high school students across the city where they learned interview skills, job readiness, and on-the-job training. The pilot was so successful that this year we had 23 local businesses sign on and more than 150 high school applicants.
The Summer Internship opportunity is so important for both our students and the businesses. On the business side, the Internship seeks to directly connect the needs of our local workforce and economic development community with a pipeline of talent within Lynchburg City Schools. The Summer Internship helps home grow our workforce by introducing students to opportunities right here at home to local businesses that are ready and willing to hire them on day-one after graduation, whether it’s from high school or college.
Students will apply and be selected from Heritage and EC Glass High Schools. Any student entering their Junior or Senior year is eligible to apply. Applications for each summer open in February of that year.
After the application period, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Interview Day. The committee will then use business preferences and student preferences to create the best match.
Selected students will commit to the 4-week Stay Close, Go Far Summer Internship Program, over the month of June. The program is Monday through Friday, five days a week.
The Job-Readiness Module runs the first week of the Program. This one-week, 20-hour training module addresses:
- Professional identities
- Resume building workshop
- Job Interview training
- Mock networking training
- Workplace professionalism
- Student strengths and personality assessments
- Communication within the workplace
- General financial literacy, investing, credit, and student loans (Adulting 101)
- Team building and team orientation in a professional workplace
This Module will involve three weeks of an on-site experiential internship opportunity at one of our Stay Close, Go Far business partners. Students report to their internship sites Monday through Thursday for 4 hours each day for a total of 16 hours per week, or 48 total hours.
Students will engage in the Experiential Module in small groups. Each small cohort will be paired with a College Near Peer Navigator, who will shepherd student groups through the internship process. These Navigators will help students to solve professional challenges (transportation, workplace challenges, scheduling, etc.) during the Experiential Module. They will meet and develop relationships with students during the Job Readiness Module and help with reflection during the Conclusion and Reflection Module.
This Module will take place on three Fridays during the one-month Internship Program. Attendance is required from 9 am until 1 pm each day. Students will meet as a cohort with Beacon of Hope staff and partners to reflect on their workplace experiences, to share information and lessons learned with their peers, and to engage in meaningful growth and conversation.