RIO GRANDE — The Rio Grande Community College encourages its students to apply for internship programs before graduating to provide them with workplace experience and benefit local employers. This summer, Engineering and Technology senior Richard Bowman interned with Electrocraft in Gallipolis. He said he feels this experience helped prepare him to enter the workforce after graduation.
“This internship gave me a chance to get an idea of what the field is really like and what to expect after I get my degree,” Bowman said. “My professors at Rio really prepared me for this position. It’s been a great opportunity for me to see how what I’ve learned in the classroom applies to the job.”
Workforce Development Director Ian Blache said the internship opportunity came from the Ohio Means Internships and Co-Ops Grant (OMIC). The OMIC program is an investment program meant to close the skills gap, increase student completion and give Ohio a competitive advantage in the global human capital talent marketplace.
Blache said he and Adult Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Coordinator Amanda Ehman led Rio’s participation in the regional grant to provide more internship opportunities to students.
“Internships create wins for everyone,” Blache said. “Students get valuable experience working directly with industry in their chosen fields, and companies are able to train and ‘try on’ employee candidates while serving immediate workforce needs. The OMIC grant gives our companies a break on the wages they have to commit.”
The partnership between Rio Grande and Electrocraft represents the institution’s first use of the OMIC funds. Bowman said he hopes other students will take part in the grant as well.
“I think everyone should apply for an internship during college,” Bowman said. “It gives you the hands-on experience in the field potential employers are looking for when you start your job search, and it’s a great way to begin networking within the field.”
All Rio Grande students are eligible, and companies are invited to inquire with Rio Grande about hiring qualified interns through the OMIC program. Eligibility is year-round.
Interested students and company representatives are welcome to contact Ian Blache at (614) 563-4287 or Amanda Ehman at (740) 245-7443 for more information.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist at the University of Rio Grande.