iReporter
 

With a promise to “educate and support our children to insure their success,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere today kicked off the 2017 Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program urging area businesses to sign up by March 31 for the immersive employment program for teens.

Mayor LaRosiliere and Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Binggeli also announced a new component – a two- to four-week “teacher externship” pilot program that immerses Plano teachers into the corporate environment, providing them powerful insights to expand and enhance their classroom instruction.

The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program is an initiative that gives outstanding Plano public high school students the opportunity to gain real-world experience through paid employment in a professional workplace. For a fourth year, Capital One is the presenting sponsor, and they are supporting the teacher externship program as well.

Joining Mayor LaRosiliere for today’s announcement were Ian Forrester, senior vice president, Capital One Auto Finance, and five outstanding intern alums including Alysa Effinger (senior at Plano West High School who interned at My Possibilities); Dontrell Mitchell (junior at  Plano West High School who interned at Intel); Alexander Tekle(senior at Plano Senior High who interned at Ericsson); Vince Buccini (junior at Plano Senior High who interned at Hilti); and Maria Martinez (senior at Plano East High School who interned at the Plano Chamber of Commerce).

The event, which attracted a large number of leaders from Plano’s leading businesses and nonprofits, was held atop One Legacy West, a location Mayor LaRosiliere dubbed as the “center of the universe” for its wealth of corporate headquarters and business developments. He called it “a perfect spot to launch a workforce development initiative.”

“We are thrilled to launch another life-changing ‘learn and earn’ summer for our high school interns,” said Mayor LaRosiliere. “Motivating our youth to great heights is a shared goal in our city. Our business community has generously rallied behind our youth to equip our kids with professional skills, confidence and a paycheck.  I can proudly boast that we already have past intern fellows who are working to complete their degrees now looking to their hometown and former Plano employers for a permanent position.  We are building a bridge for our future workforce by building up our youth."

The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program combines Plano’s vibrant business community with a nationally recognized school district, connecting motivated high school students with local companies and organizations. The summer internship program runs eight weeks from June 12-Aug. 4 and concludes with a celebratory luncheon on July 31 at Hilton Granite Park. Businesses may sign up online through March 31 at planomayorsinterns.org.

Mayor LaRosiliere reports that students benefit from real-life experiences in the workplace, meaningful assignments and opportunities to shadow executives. They also observe company operations, network with managers and executives, and gain exposure to a wide array of careers they never imagined. Companies and nonprofits also win because students deliver an infusion of energy and creativity and add value to the workplace. Additionally, employers can make a connection to their future workforce, which Mayor LaRosiliere believes is crucial because he hopes these brilliant young people will bring their talents back to Plano upon graduation from college.

In its short history, the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program has experienced tremendous growth. In 2016, 360 Plano ISD students applied and were eligible for the Job Fair, and 104 were placed in coveted internships. Last year’s interns participated in eight-week paid internships at 55 businesses and 18 nonprofits. The students represent every public high school in Plano, and some of the prospective interns are first-generation, college-bound students.

For 2017, Mayor LaRosiliere has once again set a goal to reach 100 students, with a special focus on first-generation, college-bound students as well as those who participate in Plano ISD’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program.

Businesses, large and small, can participate in several ways – by sponsoring an intern at their workplace, underwriting an intern at a nonprofit or government agency, or becoming a program sponsor. Interns work 20 to 40 hours weekly at a minimum of $9 per hour. Companies pay a $500 program fee for each intern that covers the various training and enrichment activities, the Job Fair and the luncheon ticket. Also, a few program sponsorship opportunities remain.

“Capital One is committed to helping Americans succeed in an ever-changing digital economy, and empowering the youth in our communities is a tremendous source of pride for all of us,” said Ian Forrester, senior vice president, Capital One Auto Finance. “We are excited to partner for the fourth consecutive year with the Mayor and the city of Plano to support this important program and the future of our city."

In addition to Capital One being the presenting sponsor, Alliance Data is the Internship Prep sponsor. Other program sponsors are AT&T; Atmos Energy; Bank of America; Gay McCall, Isaacks & Roberts; Intel; Hilton Dallas Plano Granite Park; Kroger; Liberty Mutual; NTT Data; Oncor; Plano ISD Education Foundation and Trammell Crow Company.

To date, participating businesses have sponsored or underwritten internships, which already exceeds last year’s total. Participating companies for 2017 are AdvoCare; Aimbridge Hospitality; Alliance Data; Archer Western Herzog; Asociar; At Home, The Home Décor Superstore; Bank of America; Baylor Scott & White Medical of Plano; Booster Fuels; Capital One; Children's Health; Ciber; Cigna; City of Plano; Collin College; Collision Diagnostic Services; CROSSMARK; Dallas Stars Foundation; Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center; Ericsson; FedEx; Gaedeke; Gleneagles Country Club; Granite Properties; Hilti; Hewlett Packard Enterprises; I2R - Integrity Integration Resources; Intel/McAfee; JCPenney; Masergy; Montgomery Capital Advisors, LLC; Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP; NTT Data; PepsiCo/Frito-Lay; Plano Chamber of Commerce; Plano ISD; Regal Research and Mfg. Co.; SSCP Management, Inc.; Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Plano; Texas Society of Professional Engineers; The University of Texas – Dallas; Toyota Motors North America; Toyota of Plano; Trammell Crow Company; UBS; and Walmart.

Student recruitment continues through March 10

The Mayor is also recruiting students to sign up now through March 10 at planomayorsinterns.org. To qualify, students must complete an online application, which includes a short essay. Additionally, applicants must be enrolled as sophomores or juniors (seniors are not eligible) at a Plano ISD high school; have a 3.0 GPA (minimum); be 16 years of age by June 12, 2017; and be eligible to work in the United States.


They must also attend Internship Prep training on Saturday, March 18, which focuses on resume development and interviewing, business communication, professional dress and personal goal planning.


Once those requirements are met, employers will interview intern candidates at the program’s highly competitive Job Fair slated for Friday, April 28, from 4-7 p.m. at Collin College’s Spring Creek Campus Conference Center. Selected students will receive a formal job offer in May. If chosen, students will then complete an additional day of Intern Training and Enrichment on Friday, June 9, at the Capital One Conference Center, where business soft skills and work-readiness topics will be addressed.


The year culminates with Mayor LaRosiliere hosting a luncheon honoring the interns and employers on Monday, July 31, at the Hilton Granite Park.


Details and the online application are available at planomayorsinterns.org. For questions, contact Allison Venuto at interns@vwaitgroup.com.


For more information, please go to planomayorsinterns.org.