Published June 17, 2003
Volume 11, Number 6

Tri-Valley Connections Internships Program Puts Students to Work

Many high school and college students think of a summer job as simply a way to pass the time and make a little spending money during the break between semesters. However, it’s also a great time to learn career skills by working in a real-world professional environment. If the latter is what a student is looking for, the Tri-Valley Connections Internships Program is an excellent place to start.

TVCIP is a student internship program founded by the Tri-Valley Educational Collaborative (TEC) in partnership with the local business community. TEC is a collaborative of the Dublin, Livermore, Sunol, and Pleasanton school districts, the Chabot/Las Positas Community College District, and the Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program. TVCIP connects Tri-Valley businesses with high school students from the Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton unified school districts as well as students who are attending Las Positas College. The TVCIP coordinates internships year-round and is currently focusing on establishing internships for Summer 2003.

“Our organization started approximately two years ago, and we’ve been running for the past year and a half in concert with the Tri-Valley Business Council and the local education entities,” says Keith Mattox, coordinator for the TVCIP. “We work to place local high-school students, aged sixteen and up and tenth grade and up, in summer and after school jobs.” TVCIP takes care of the screening, student preparation, and oversight of the program. The students must either take a "readiness" course at Las Positas Community College (resume writing, interviewing, and other "soft" workplace skills) to prepare them for the work experience, or demonstrate skill equivalence. TVCIP students apply for specific assignments offered by businesses and the businesses interview and select the best candidates.

“From the businesses, we essentially request that the positions be meaningful to give the students an idea of what a professional experience is like,” Mattox says. “We want to offer positions that are productive and mean something to the participating business so that the student can learn from direct exposure to the business environment.” TVCIP has placed students in positions at Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Lab, Tanner and Associates Insurance Brokers, ProSoft Engineering, Sybase, UMAC Bank, Inanami, Sun Microsystems, Contra Costa Newspapers, CTV30, Bank of America, the Tri-Valley Business Council, IBM, and other companies and organizations. Typically, summer internships run 4-6 weeks, with the interns working about six to eight hours per day, with schedules accommodating the needs of the project, the supervisor, and the intern.

Businesses interested in working with the TVCIP in providing internships for students should contact Keith Mattox, TVCIP coordinator at info@trivalleyconnections.com or at (925) 485-5267.


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