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LCRCC Program Update: TIPS

Training Interns and Partnering for Success (TIPS), the Lake Champlain Chamber’s high school internship program, seeks to implement workforce development programming at the high school level. TIPS is a high school course that teaches students how to construct resumes, write cover letters, prepare for interviews, and develop other professional soft skills. Halfway through the semester, students leave the classroom to complete a 20 to 40 hour internship at a local organization or business. At the end of the semester, students have the skills and experience to be more successful in the workforce.

This year, the TIPS program has been at Winooski High School, Colchester High School, and Burlington High School. Over 40 students have enrolled in the course to gain valuable professional experience outside the classroom. The internship placements have been incredibly diverse, as students have interned at Chamber member businesses like UVM Medical Center, Engelberth Construction, Hazelett Strip Casting Corporation, Ogee, Opportunities Credit Union, and more.

While students learn essential workplace skills, the host businesses also benefit from these internships. Not only is hosting an intern a great way to help the local community, but it is also a way to bring in a fresh and new perspective into the workplace. Currently, Vermont lacks a young workforce, and internships are essential for building a pipeline of trained talent and ensuring the future of Vermont’s economy.

I have had the pleasure of running the TIPS program this year as an Americorps VISTA member. One of the most inspiring moments in my life happened this past TIPS semester. There was a student at Colchester High School that was very quiet and withdrawn that would often skip class. His aspiration in life was to be a pilot. I placed him in an internship with Heritage Aviation that would not only allow the student to learn more about airplanes, but would give him hands on experience with airplane mechanics. When I showed up to the site for the student’s interview at Heritage Aviation, he was shaking with excitement. Heritage Aviation is an incredibly nice facility that was filled with private planes and military jets. He was eager and talkative, and opened up both during the interview and afterwards when I was speaking to him. It was great to see a student who was not flourishing in a classroom setting really thrive through an internship that he was passionate about. The student has completed his internship and then presented on his experience to many of his supervisors. His life plan has been changed because of this experience, and he hopes to pursue a career with airplane mechanics in the future.

I am extremely honored to be running the TIPS internship program this year. I have seen students grow through their internships, and gain experience in a field they are passionate in that changes the trajectory of their career path. Internships are essential to give youth the ability to thrive and learn in a workplace. I look forward to working with more businesses and to see more students develop important skills through TIPS.


Cole Snyder, TIPS Americorps Member


Cole Snyder, Vista AmeriCorps member talking on the phone

If you’re interested in getting your business involved in TIPS, contact Cole at [email protected]. You can stay updated on TIPS by following us on Instagram @tipsvermont.