COLUMBUS — Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced the creation of the High School Tech Internship Pilot Program.
The program will produce an internship opportunity that will enable 100 high school students to become familiar with technology careers and businesses in Ohio. Connected with input from various individuals involved in businesses in Ohio, the pilot program was the creation of an existing partnership between the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.
The Greene County Career Center is one of 12 pilot sites selected.
“In the last three years, GCCC has doubled its information technology (IT) programs on campus from information technology and digital media to digital design and development, video and animation (formerly digital media), and cybersecurity,” said GCCC Curriculum Specialist Brett Doudican. “In the last three years, we have expanded our work-based learning and internship programs.”
Doudican said locating internships for IT students has been low at historic levels and GCCC needs to discover and overcome the roadblocks. GCCC also has to see how “remote workplaces” will work for its students this summer.
The pilot program allows Ohio employers to join with pilot sites to offer internships and receive reimbursement for a portion of the intern’s wages.
“Ohio has high school students who have demonstrated competency in these tech areas at the same level as many people already in the workforce,” Husted said in a press release. “We know students stay in Ohio if they are connected to businesses at an earlier age, and that’s exactly what this pilot is doing. The solution to your workforce shortage may be right under your nose at your local high school.”
Interns will be serve in roles containing a direct focus on software, data, cloud and IT infrastructure, and cybersecurity. It will be expected that students will be able to handle the job duties that are similar to those that come with an entry-level position.
“This pilot program connects and builds relationships between businesses and education leaders so we can expand the program statewide in the future,” Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik said in the release. “It will also introduce students to career opportunities, provide them with work experience, and show them the opportunities that exist in Ohio’s technology sector.”
In order to enable more students to experience technology careers at an earlier age, the participation of employers in the program has some added benefits. Those employers will be given a higher wage reimbursement. If employers can demonstrate that an intern has earned an industry-recognized credential recognized on the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program list by the time of the reimbursement request, employers will also receive an extra $100 in reimbursement.
“Work-based learning opportunities, like the High School Tech Internship program, can be exciting and powerful contributors to a student’s education experience. They align beautifully with the vision articulated in Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, for students to be challenged, prepared, and empowered for future success,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria said in the release. “Students, businesses, schools, and communities all benefit. We’re extremely proud of the pilot sites and their business partners for investing in students, supporting their growth, and providing them with this tremendous learning opportunity.”
Businesses interested in hosting an intern should contact GCCC, which will provide information on how to post their internship opportunity.
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534