The Wilcox High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) has teamed up with TeenForce, a non-profit focused on solving the youth employment crisis, to offer summer internships to students at Wilcox.
“We were looking to pilot an internship program at Wilcox,” said Lillian Kwiatkowski, a member of the PTSA. “When we were introduced to the TeenForce program, we wanted to expand it to support Wilcox High School students and perhaps all Santa Clara youth in future years. We have already had a successful informational meeting and a resume writing workshop to help prepare youth. Now, we are reaching out to the business community to explain the program and generate the work opportunities.”
TeenForce is similar to a staffing agency, and does much of the legwork for the internship-providing business. The organization recruits and screens students, and provides payroll and insurance services to businesses involved in the program.
So far, Alliance Occupational Medicine has utilized the TeenForce model to hire a student for office and clerical support. “We are pleased to be working with TeenForce and Wilcox High youth to launch this program in Santa Clara,” said Vice President Rena Flovin. “We expect this to help our business and the community at the same time.”
With a little assistance from the community, TeenForce hopes to help dozens of students find summer internships. “Last summer, we offered 30 internships to youth ages 16-21 in fields such as engineering, programming, auto repair, marketing and health care,” said John Hogan, founder and executive director of TeenForce. “Our turn-key model really expands the number of businesses that are willing to offer internships to younger students.”
Additionally, the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce is currently marketing the concept to its members. “We really support programs where our members can work together to help their businesses and the community at the same time,” said Steve Van Dorn, CEO of the Chamber. “The TeenForce program is specifically designed to make these connections and we are pleased to recommend it to our members and to businesses throughout the Santa Clara community.”
Businesses interested in joining the program should contact Eileen Becker, TeenForce’s internship director, at (408) 528-4748. Businesses who already hire teens and would like to provide an internship independent of TeenForce, should contact Kwiatkowski at (408) 313-0643.
“There are some incredibly talented, competent, hard-working, caring students at Wilcox and this is a wonderful opportunity for businesses, in general, to find that out and make use of this local resource,” said Kwiatkowski. “We hope this internship effort will lead to a very positive relationship between Santa Clara teens and the community.”
Visit http://www.teenforce.org/Internships.php for more information on the internship program through TeenForce.