TIPS – Training Interns and Partnering for Success

TIPS is a high school workforce readiness program consisting of an experiential course in job preparation, followed by an unpaid internship at a local business or organization. TIPS provides students with the opportunity to engage in career exploration, developing employability skills such as verbal and written communication, interviewing, resume and cover letter writing, dress, and much more. Students interview for internships with local businesses and organizations and explore the possibilities of career placement and/or college study.

Part of a TIPS lesson plan about essential workplace soft skills.

TIPS expands to Colchester, Burlington, and Winooski High Schools

The Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, through the Lake Champlain Lifelong Learning Fund (a 501C3) partnered with Colchester High School to bring TIPS to 50 students in school year 2016-17. Students were placed in a wide variety of internships from electrical companies to chemistry labs and dental offices. Statewide, college and career exploration activities are on the rise and now provide students with high school credits. With Vermont Act 77, Flexible Pathways to Graduation, students in public high schools earn credit for experiential, pragmatic, and well-defined new programs that not only prepares them for work, but also for college. In TIPS, students explore career interests, sometimes confirming what they think they want – or helping them decide to pursue other interests.

Employers benefit from hosting student interns by marketing their business to youth – tomorrow’s workforce.

Students bring new perspectives and sometimes technology skills to an existing workforce, and host supervisors grow their expertise and leadership skills by training interns. We’re hearing of renewed career passions, enhanced by sharing it with interested youth. We are actively lining up internships now for October-December and March-May. If your business can host a student intern, please call us at 802-863-3489 or email tips@vermont.org.

Students from Burlington High School graduating from the TIPS program in 2016.

This 2017-18 school year, in addition to Colchester High School, we will partner with Burlington High School and Winooski High School to bring TIPS to more students in Chittenden County. Statewide, TIPS runs in over 50 schools and is funded in part by a donation to the Lake Champlain Lifelong Learning Fund from our leading sponsor New England Federal Credit Union and by a grant from the Vermont Department of Labor. If your organization cannot host a student intern, we invite your tax deductible contribution to the Lake Champlain Lifelong Learning Fund, as valued partner in our community’s workforce development.

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