Hartford public schools are off for spring vacation this week, but some high school students have opted to report to class anyway. It’s all in preparation for an opportunity to score a paid summer internship.
The Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s Education Foundation is hosting the 5th Annual Youth Employability Skills program, which helps select sophomores and juniors gain valuable knowledge and first-hand experience from over 30 business volunteers from Connecticut companies. The volunteers are facilitating 24 workshops for the students focused on workplace skills, designed to prepare them for paid internships this summer.
“It’s gonna be worth it because I could’ve just been sleeping, watching TV, doing nothing,” said Jalil Rose, a junior at Hartford’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology. “I’m here learning interviewing tips and resume building.”
Among the business volunteers: Ewing Concepcion, a Human Resources Specialist for UTC Aerospace Systems. He says he wants to give back to students, whose background is similar to what his was.
“I’m the first generation ever to attend college from my entire family,” said Concepcion, who is a native of Puerto Rico. “No one has gone to college or university or even stepped into it.”
The students who are hired for the paid summer internships will be considered colleagues, not kids. So, there are no coffee runs necessary.
“We give them an assignment for three to four weeks,” said Concepcion of UTC’s internship practices. He added that once the students are trained, they are left with the responsibility of completing their projects.
The classes will run through Thursday, April 3, from 9 am to noon at the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology at Hartford Public High School.