Thanks to the MajorClarity work-based learning initiative funded by GO Virginia, IALR joined Goodwill Industries and Danville Public Schools to support the launch of a summer internship program with the City of Danville. IALR also joined Pittsylvania County Community Action, the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board and Pittsylvania County Schools to support a similar summer internship program in Pittsylvania County.
The City of Danville hosted 27 Danville Public Schools students and Pittsylvania County hosted 15 Pittsylvania County Schools students. Their internships were eight weeks long and offered stipends and valuable work-based learning experience. For example, during the eight-week program, Pittsylvania County students had the opportunity to work across several departments with Pittsylvania County Schools, as well as with Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation, the Pittsylvania Pet Center, Information Technology, Public Relations, Finance, and Community Development. Students wrote biographies of staff and drafted social media posts, helped customers, visited construction sites, and conducted important research. The students also had the opportunity to attend a groundbreaking event for Staunton River Plastics where they met Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (see photo).
“Work-based learning opportunities, specifically internships, are critical experiences that connect students and young adults to career opportunities and create relevance aligned with their academic experience,” said Julie Brown, Director of Advanced Learning at IALR. “Paid internships are an investment by our local governments and employers as a key strategy to support regional talent development efforts.”
All 15 K-12 school divisions in GO Virginia Region 3 have adopted MajorClarity as their work-based learning platform. IALR led the adoption of this common digital platform to enhance students’ career development and increase employer engagement in work-based learning. 26,000 students in grades 6-12 now have access to MajorClarity to explore and prepare for career fields, plan and select academic classes and training programs, identify work-based learning opportunities, and track and improve career readiness and awareness. The county and city internship programs integrated MajorClarity as part of the application process.