At the kick off of the 2016 Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program, Mayor LaRosiliere vows, “Our promise to the future is to educate and support our children to ensure their success,” urging area businesses to step up in a big way and sign up by the March 31 deadline for the immersive employment program for teens. The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program is an initiative that gives outstanding Plano public high school students an opportunity to gain real-world experience through paid employment in a professional workplace. Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Binggeli joined the announcement at Plano ISD Academy, along with former interns and business representatives. Capital One, a company who believes in volunteerism in the communities its a part of, is the founding sponsor of the program and is returning for a third year as the presenting sponsor.
“We’re heading into year three of the program with a great deal of momentum, and this year we will involve even more students in this invaluable ‘learn and earn’ experience,” said Mayor LaRosiliere. “Through this experience, we will honor what I call the Plano Promise that proudly states to our youth: Our schools will educate you and our community will support you. This is truly a collaboration among the city, Plano ISD and the business community. Our business partners will equip these young folks with a unique perspective and professional skills that will be with them for the rest of their lives.”
The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program gives high school students the opportunity to earn up to $3,000 and combines Plano’s vibrant business community with a nationally recognized school district, connecting motivated Plano high school students with local companies and organizations. The summer internship program runs eight weeks from June 13 through August 5 and concludes with a celebratory luncheon on July 25.
Mayor LaRosiliere reports that students benefit from real-life experiences in the workplace, meaningful assignments and opportunities to shadow executives. They also observe company operations, network with managers and executives, and gain exposure to a wide array of careers they never imagined. Companies and nonprofits also win because students deliver an infusion of energy and creativity and add value to the workplace. Additionally, employers can make a connection to their future workforce, which Mayor LaRosiliere believes is crucial because he hopes these brilliant young people will bring their talents back to Plano upon college graduation.
In its short history, the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program has experienced tremendous growth. In 2015, 275 Plano ISD students applied, 175 were eligible for the Job Fair, and 63 were placed in coveted internships—an approximate 70 percent growth over the 37 students involved the inaugural year. Last year’s interns participated in the eight-week paid internships at 23 businesses and 16 nonprofits. The students represent every public high school in Plano, and some of the prospective interns are first-generation, college-bound students. For 2016, Mayor LaRosiliere has set a goal to reach 100 students, with a special focus on first-generation, college-bound students as well as those who participate in Plano ISD’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program.
Businesses, large and small, can participate in several ways—by sponsoring an intern at their workplace, underwriting an intern at a nonprofit or government agency or becoming a program sponsor. Interns work 20–40 hours weekly at a minimum of $9 per hour. Companies pay a $500 program fee for each intern that covers the various training and enrichment activities, the Job Fair and the luncheon ticket. Also, a few program sponsorship opportunities remain. If a company has interest, look into signing up for the program here.
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“Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is a tremendous source of pride for all of us at Capital One, especially when it involves local students,” said Ian Forrester, managing vice president for Capital One. “We are excited to partner for the third consecutive year with the mayor and the City of Plano to support this important program and the future of Plano.”
Alliance Data is the Internship Prep sponsor. Other program sponsors are Atmos Energy, AT&T, Bank of America, Gay McCall Isaacks Gordon & Roberts, Kroger, Liberty Mutual, Oncor, Plano ISD Education Foundation, Texas Instruments and Trammell Crow Company. To date, participating businesses have sponsored or underwritten 70 internships, which already exceeds last year’s total. As of Feb. 16, participating companies for 2016 are AdvoCare; Alliance Data; Atmos Energy; Bank of America; Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Plano; Brookdale; Capital One; Ciber; Cigna; City of Plano; Collin College; Columbus Realty Partners, Ltd.; Dell; Delta Dallas; Ericsson; Granite Properties; Intel Security; Marriott at Legacy Town Center; Mercedes-Benz of Plano; NTT Data; PepsiCo/Frito-Lay; Plano Chamber of Commerce; Plano ISD; Primrose School of South Plano; Publicis Hawkeye; Regal Research & Manufacturing Company; Texas Health Presbyterian Plano; Texas Instruments; The Shops at Willow Bend; Toyota of Plano; Trammell Crow Company; UBS; and Williamsburg Custom Homes.
New to this year’s program are Booster Fuels, Dallas Stars, FedEx, Frisco RoughRiders, Gleneagles Country Club, HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), I2R (Integrity Integration Resources), InTouch Credit Union, Masergy, Texas Society of Professional Engineers; and UT Dallas.
Student recruitment continues through Friday, March 11 and the Mayor is recruiting interested students through the Plano Mayor’s Internship website. Requirements include submitting an online application and writing a short essay. To qualify, students must currently be a sophomore or junior (seniors are not eligible) at a Plano ISD high school; have a 3.0 GPA (minimum); be 16 years of age by June 13, 2016; be eligible to work in the United States; and attend Internship Prep training on Saturday, March 19. Interns who were hired last year are not eligible to apply again.
Internship Prep is the mandatory training held on March 19, which will be held at Capital One’s Plano Conference Center. The training focuses on resume development and interviewing, business communication, professional dress and personal goal planning. Employers interview intern candidates at the program’s highly competitive Job Fair slated for Friday, April 22, at Collin College’s Spring Creek Conference Center. Then, working with employers, the interns are matched to companies and nonprofits based on the employers’ hiring preferences and students’ areas of career interest. Selected students receive a formal job offer in May. If chosen, students complete an additional day of Intern Training and Enrichment on Friday, June 10 at Atmos Energy covering additional business “soft skills” and work-readiness topics.