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PrepareRI application available for paid summer internships

By Susan Gale

The PrepareRI Internship Program is seeking 300 high school juniors for summer 2019 paid internships with employers in a range of industries.

Summer 2018 was the pilot year for the internship program, when 162 students were placed. The program is funded by the RI Governor’s Workforce Board with support from The Partnership RI, and is managed by Skills for Rhode Island’s Future (SkillsRI).

PrepareRI Internships are part of the group’s goal of having work-based learning in every high school in the state by 2020. SkillsRI will help select students and match them with employers based on student interests, skills, and preparedness. The group will provide an orientation and training to all selected students before starting the internship.

You can download a student flyer in English and Spanish here.

Eligibility requirements
  • Students must be at least 16 years old by March 1, 2019, and current juniors living in Rhode Island and attending an RI public high school.
  • Students must be eligible to work in the US and have documentation.
  • There are no academic or attendance limitations for eligibility. Students will be selected based on their qualifications.
Internship details
  • Students selected into the program will make $11.25/hour and earn up to 6 college credits, according to the SkillsRI website.
  • Internships last 6-8 weeks (20-35 hours per week.)
  • PrepareRI says they anticipate a variety of job descriptions with some descriptions combining multiple categories of day-to-day tasks and larger projects, and some requiring specific technical skills.
  • Not every student will be able to be matched with their top industry of interest, but SkillsRI will take those preferences into account during the matching process.
  • For technical questions on the application, you can call SkillsRI at 401-680-5960.
  • Applications will be reviewed by SkillsRI on a rolling basis, so students are encouraged to complete their application early.
Expected timeline

Dates are subject to change, according to PrepareRI.

  • February 1, 2019: Application due by 11:59 pm. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.
  • February-March 2019: Student-Parent/Guardian Orientations. (Dates emailed to students who complete application).
  • March-May 2019: Interviews with SkillsRI and employers. (Dates emailed to students who attend orientations).
  • May 31, 2019: Students notified of acceptance into the program and internship employer placement.
  • June 24-28, 2019: Work Readiness “boot camp” from 8:30am- 5:30pm.
  • July 1-August 23, 2019: Internship placements (minimum of 150 hours over 6 weeks). The SkilsRI website suggests that student availability be Monday – Saturday, 6:00 am – 9:00 pm. Employers hosting interns will have varied schedules.
  • August 23, 2019: Graduation Day.
Apply here for the PrepareRI Internship Program
Benefits of the internship

According to PrepareRI, internships benefit both students and industry. For students, the internships prepare youth with the skills they need to pursue meaningful, fulfilling futures through professional skills training, on-the-job experience, and connections to adult mentors who can help them achieve their career goals, the group’s website says.

For employers, the internships help diversify their workforce and build a strong pipeline of young, skilled workers who can keep RI’s future economy vibrant and strong, PrepareRI said.

Current PrepareRI employers and job categories

Some, but not all, areas of internships can include: Education; Finance and Banking; Food and Hospitality; Government; Healthcare/Biotech; Human and Social Services; Insurance; Manufacturing and Construction; Marketing, Nonprofit; Retail and Customer Service; Technology.

Here are some, but not all, of the job categories PrepareRI expects to include: Communications and Social Media; Customer Service; Data Entry and Analysis; Event Planning and Support; Health Services/Patient support; Human Resources/Administration; IT Help Desk; Marketing and Sales; Operations Support; Software programming/Coding.


Photo/graphic credit: PrepareRI
For teachers and schools

If you would like Skills for RI’s Future to come to your school and present on the opportunity to your students, contact Jenny Pichardo at jpichardo@skillsforri.com.

For employer partners 

Employer recruitment is in progress. Employers will be located across the state and in multiple industries. SkillsRI will match interns with employers based on student interests and skills. Download a flyer for businesses here.

SkillsRI offers the following to participating businesses:

  • Work with employers to develop job descriptions and identify essential skills.
  • Vet, assess, and match student interns to employer demand.
  • Prepare students on soft/essential skills and expectations of the workplace.
  • Provide support for employer staff to onboard and supervise student interns.
  • Establish a single point of contact to manage the student interns, and troubleshoot if any issues should arise.

Here are the employer’s responsibilities:

  • Commit to hosting 1-10 high school interns over the summer, for 6-8 weeks, 20-35 hours per week
  • Identify an internal champion to work closely with intermediary.
  • Recruit supervisors and mentors to be the primary points of contact for students.
  • Help interview and select interns, as capacity allows.
  • Provide thought leadership and feedback for continuous improvement.

If your business is interested in hosting a PrepareRI intern, contact mdepenaaffigne@skillsforri.com.

Learn more online
If you need additional help filling out the application

If you need help filling out the application, SkillsRI suggests you contact your school career coordinator, school guidance counselor, or school principal. If you have any trouble saving or submitting your application, contact Jenny Pichardo at 401-680-5978 or jpichardo@skillsforri.com.

Nosotros le podemos ofrecer la información en el idioma de su preferencia sin costo alguno para usted. Llame Jenny Pichardo, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future al (401) 680-5978 para pedir asistencia en traducir y entender la información en este documento.

SkillsRI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and program provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. TTY via RI Relay 711. Language access services in your preferred language can be provided at no cost to you. Call (401) 680-5960 for assistance.

Susan Gale is the publisher of Kidoinfo.com through her company Gale Force Communications.

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