equipping future leaders for Success
IALR is working hard to transform the southern Virginia region into one that understands and appreciates investment in education and job training. College students are at a critical time in their lives where they are transitioning to adulthood and making the infamous decision of “what they want to be when they grow up.” IALR offers programs for college students to assist them in answering this important question. These programs allow them to build their knowledge and expertise in their chosen field and give them a taste of what they could expect in a future, full-time position. The current competition for good jobs post-graduation is extraordinary. IALR understands students who participate in internships and other educational programs will have an advantage over those who do not.
Through two dynamic AmeriCorps programs (ServeIT and Dan River Year), IALR offers college students an opportunity to gain valuable work readiness skills while serving their community and adding life experience to their resume. Full-time and other tutoring service opportunities within participating schools and community organizations across Southern Virginia are made possible through support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Danville Regional Foundation, the J.T. – Minnie Maude Charitable Trust and IALR. The programs help foster interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as information technology. College students seeking a “gap year” or additional experience before entering the workforce will find a nice fit with AmeriCorps. Plus, a stipend and Segal Education Award are provided to eligible members.
Internships & Scholarships
IALR understands that the next generation plays a key role in economic transformation. Therefore, it supports college students’ experiential learning through internships and scholarships. Throughout the year, paid internships allow students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills all while gaining invaluable work experience. Current students and recent graduates of both college and high school are eligible to participate with departments throughout the organization, such as Advanced Learning, Applied Research and Economic Development. Each spring, information on available scholarships is provided.
Students enrolled as Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering students are eligible to complete a Senior Design project with IALR’s Applied Research team. The project involves producing technological advancements to IALR’s SMART tables, part of the precision agriculture program. The tables, which are precision imaging platforms built to record and track plant growth and development, also have the ability to robotically test soil conditions such as moisture and temperature. Previous students developed and implemented new modular heads, added a new camera platform to enhance computer vision analysis of plant growth and health, and worked to improve the tables’ nutrient delivery system for more precise experimental conditions. These improvements have enabled IALR scientists to more precisely monitor plant growth conditions to better validate test results.
Advanced Manufacturing Training Program
IALR’s Advanced Manufacturing division offers a comprehensive advanced level training program at its Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining. Completers of the college-level precision machining program enter this elite, advanced program to train in a full-scale manufacturing work flow cell to support a realistic, fully-integrated learning experience, preparing them for leadership positions within the industry. The program is led by experienced and nationally renowned staff and has garnered the attention as a benchmark model for precision machining workforce development.