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Turners high-schoolers seeking internships at area businesses

TURNERS FALLS — A 90-minute workday: for most, an unattainable or impractical dream; for Turners Falls High School students, a course option.

The School to Career internship class, offered during the last block of the day during the spring semester, allows interested students to try their hands at a variety of work before they head off to college or to seek employment.

Teacher Jeffrey Jobst runs the program and is looking for employers to add to the mix of options for students, usually expected to do two internships during the course of the semester.

Jobst said he has taught the class for six or seven years, opening the semester with a classroom introduction to basic job-seeking skills such as writing resumes, shaking hands and making eye contact.

Once the mock interviews are through, Jobst sends the students out into the wild, often to a core of local employers who have been with the program for years.

With transportation an issue for many students and little time to get where they’re going, Jobst said the businesses and nonprofit organizations are generally nearby. This narrows the pool of prospects in a market already limited to businesses able to afford the additional supervision, and Jobst said he is always looking for new employers to add to the mix.

To that end, Jobst said he is working on getting a bill passed to give employers a tax break for taking on an intern.

The benefit of the internship experience varies based on the student and the employer. For some students, the experience informs college choices; for others, it is a look at employment options or a foot in the door.

Jobst cites a student he said took his architectural drawing course, interned with a construction crew and is now in her third year in the architecture program at Syracuse University. More immediately, some students have parlayed their internships into after-school work.

Interns work from approximately 12:45 to 2:25 p.m., Monday through Friday beginning around Feb. 4 or April 1.

Interested employers may contact Jobst at 413-863-7260 or jjobst@gmrsd.org.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
ccurtis@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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