D&E, Chamber Team Up for New Program

Date Posted: 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

THE INTER-MOUNTAIN — The Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and Davis & Elkins College have teamed up to create the Summer Highlands Internship Program for local college students from June 1 to July 31.

The program was made possible due to a $25,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

“Dr. (Rosemary) Thomas and I learned about a similar internship program run by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation,” Lisa Wood, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “That impressive program inspired us to tailor the SHIP program to our needs in Randolph County.”

The 10 interns in the program will consist of five D&E students and five students from Randolph County who are attending school elsewhere. These students will be placed as interns in jobs that align with their career interests.

“The interns work eight weeks,” Wood said in an interview with The Inter-Mountain. “In the end, they work 32 hours a week for 32 days at the business.”

Interns are also able to take a week off of the program to allow time for any planned vacations or family trips.

“Under the employers’ mentorship, the students will gain hands-on skills and learn what it is like to be a part of the Randolph County business community,” states a press release from Wood.

Each Monday during the nine-week program will be called Mentoring Monday, and the interns will be gathering together and working as a cohort on a cumulative project.

“They are going to be learning leadership skills, they’re going to be learning civic responsibility and they’re going to be completing a service project,” Wood said. “It’s a student-driven or student-led service project, so they will plan it and implement it during the nine-week time.”

D&E and the Chamber of Commerce are also planning to recruit local and regional experts on a variety of topics to speak with the interns and give a “hands-on presentation.”

“Obviously, we have to make a match between the 10 students and their field of interest,” Wood said. “We may have a student who’s interested in general management. That’s a little easier for me to find a placement for them than someone who’s looking for something like sports management.”

“We’re encouraging businesses and organizations to contact us if they’re interested in participating,” she continued. “Businesses do not have to be a member of the Chamber to participate.”

“We are delighted to be working together with the Chamber to provide opportunities for our students and other college students to extend their learning outside the classroom,” stated Thomas, D&E’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, in the press release. “This has long been a part of a D&E education, and we consider it an honor and a privilege to provide oversight for our students and Randolph County students home for the summer as well.”

Businesses interested in participating are encouraged to contact Wood at the Chamber of Commerce at 304-636-2717.

Applications for student interns will be posted on the Chamber of Commerce’s website, or applicants may call the Chamber and request that it be mailed to them digitally.