High school students eligible for paid internships through PrepareRI program

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Applications for the third year of the Prepare Rhode Island (PrepareRI) Internship Program are now available and will be accepted through December 31. Launched in the summer of 2018, the PrepareRI Internship Program provides paid summer internships to rising high school seniors, who also have the opportunity to earn up to four college credits at no cost.

Students can apply online on the PrepareRI website.

Last year, 326 students participated, working at 75 partner companies and organizations statewide. PrepareRI Internship employers represent a diverse array of industries, from health care and finance to technology and public policy, including some of the state’s leading businesses, such as Amgen, Bank of America, CVS, Citizen’s Bank, FM Global, Gilbane, Hasbro, Lifespan, Nordson and Teknor Apex.

“PrepareRI is kicking off another year of connecting students with opportunities to learn new skills and earn money by doing real, hands-on work,” said Governor Raimondo. “The experience that students gain during their internships will help them succeed – both in the classroom and in the workforce. It’s critical that we give students the opportunity to develop their skills while still in high school.”

The internship program is one component of PrepareRI, a statewide initiative aligned to industry to prepare all Rhode Island youth for success in college and career. This comprehensive statewide strategy also includes dual and concurrent enrollment early college opportunities, career and technical education, Advanced Placement and the Advanced Course Network, among others.

The initiative represents a strategic partnership between Rhode Island government, private industry leaders, the public education system, universities, employers, and non-profits across the state. The Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) is one of the agencies helping to coordinate the PrepareRI work overall and is the lead agency for the PrepareRI Internship Program. GWB works with an independent non-profit intermediary, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future (SkillsRI), which identifies and matches students to internship opportunities.

“The PrepareRI Internship Program provides our young people with access to real-life work experiences and professional mentors right here in Rhode Island,” said Mike Grey, chair of the Governor’s Workforce Board. “The program gives students the chance to build essential skills and explore career paths, but also helps ensure that our employers have a pipeline of talent that is prepared to thrive in the workplace and drive our state’s economy forward.”

To participate in the internship, students must apply by December 31 and then attend an orientation session with a parent or guardian in January or February. Students are then invited to interview for job opportunities, often going through the interview and resume writing process for the first time. From there, students attend a Work Readiness Boot Camp, a 40-hour, weeklong onboarding in June that prepares them for what they will face in the workforce. The Boot Camp covers important work skills like public speaking, team building, problem solving, and the expectations of employers.

In July and August, students ultimately accepted to the program will complete between 150 and 240 hours of the paid internship with their matched employer.

PrepareRI launched in 2018, after Rhode Island was one of only 10 states awarded New Skills for Youth funding from JPMorgan Chase and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Learn more about PrepareRI and how students, educators, and employers can get involved at Prepare-RI.org.

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