Manufacturing Day & Internship Programs Create Opportunities to Hire Talent
20 Jul 2022
The Greater Springfield Partnership is diligently working to make it easier for Clark County businesses to hire talent. Two of our initiatives - the Magnify Internship Program and Manufacturing Day have historically linked businesses with high schoolers already living in the community. “We understand that it’s easier to retain talent than to recruit from other communities. By introducing high school students to our strong business ecosystem, we are showing them how many opportunities there are here at home. Ultimately, it’s easier to stay and so many of them do,” said Kendra Burnside, Talent and Education Coordinator for the Greater Springfield Partnership.
Kendra is leading these efforts and hosts events monthly that create opportunities for students to meet business leaders. “We have had strong turnout at our high school job fairs as well,” she said.
Businesses concerned about the time investment to host an intern should consider the long-term benefits. Kara, an Administrative and Technology Specialist at Imperial Express in Springfield, started as a high school intern, was offered a full time position and is actively contributing to the company. “In the past four and a half years I have handled projects like building an app and automating our systems,” she said.
Kara credits Dale Briggs, owner of Imperial Express, with setting her on the right path and teaching her how to be successful within the company. “I recommend that businesses hire high school interns. As a former intern I can attest to the fact that the growth I am making now, and the way I am investing back into the company, is because they first invested in me,” she said.
The most impactful aspect of my mentorship was working with my mentor, the owner of the company Dale Briggs. He took the time to teach me the skills I needed to be successful within this company.
My advice is to offer internships to high school students. As a former intern I can attest to the fact that the growth I am making now is investing back into the company that invested in me.
From the employer side, Janelle, the Food Safety Coordinator for Woeber Mustard, has also seen the benefits of hosting interns. “We have had several interns here since the summer of 2016 and I would strongly encourage any company to hire highschool interns,” she said. “They learn soft skills like how to communicate with supervisors, time management and are exposed to career paths.” As a result of that exposure, many students will choose to stay at the company they interned with.
“That’s the magic of the internship program. Everyone benefits because students learn new skills and are exposed to opportunities and types of jobs they never knew about. Simultaneously, this is one of the best ways for our local businesses to meet and hire talent that could stay with them for years to come,” said Burnside.
Those who can’t host an intern may be able to participate in Manufacturing Day as an alternative (or second) way to introduce their company to students. Amanda, a line leader at Woebers, first toured the company on manufacturing day. “I liked how they operated so I applied after graduation. I was hired as an entry level product associate and have been promoted twice.”
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