TIPS provides junior and senior high school students an opportunity to learn pre-employment skills, participate in an internship with a local business, earn high school credit and gain summer or after school employment. The program was developed by Linking Learning to Life (LLL) in Burlington Vermont in 2004 by partnering with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to train students for jobs in their scoop shops. Since that time, the program has expanded to include many schools throughout Vermont and many businesses. Rutland joined the program in the Spring of 2008. Since that time, we have worked with over 120 students in Rutland County. We are finding that many of these students have retained a relationship with the company they interned with, returning to work during college vacations.
In the classroom, instructors utilize practical learning activities to prepare students for work while encouraging them to explore their individual abilities and interests. The TIPS coordinator then works to match students with employers that can offer them a meaningful internship. Such internships provide real work experiences that go outside the boundaries of the conventional classroom.
The students gain practical skills, learn work terminology, work climate and business and industry protocol. They understand how academic skills can be applied to the workplace. Further, they are exposed to career opportunities within their community, building a network that can benefit them as they progress in their chosen field.
Employers benefit from a seamless transition from quality intern to productive full time employee. The unpaid portion of the internship enables the employer to assess each student’s fit within the business before making a hiring commitment. For employers who are interested in attracting a younger workforce, this program provides access to the next generation.
How to get involved
Contact the RRWIB Program Coordinator, Peg Bolgioni.