Picente Honors Interns, Employers In College Student Corps Internship Program

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., joined by Oneida County Legislator Stephen Roefaro, today honored employers and interns participating in the 2010 Oneida County College Student Corps Internship Program.

“Developing the workforce of the future means showing young people what this area has to offer, as well as providing them the opportunity to hone their skills through internships,” Picente said. “The Oneida County College Corps provides employers with outstanding, talented interns and increases students’ awareness of potential employers in their fields. Through these internships, students learn about our region, they learn about their careers, and we make some employer-intern connections that can help both students and employers in the future.”
Picente said that during 2010, about 135 interns worked for local employers such as Black River Systems Co., Par Government / Rome Research, the Neighborhood Center and Upstate Cerebral Palsy. Students are matched to employers based upon an employer’s needs and an intern’s interests and abilities.
“Developing the workforce of the future is one of the most important jobs for county government,” Roefaro said. “Our investments in the internship program are investments in the future of our economy, our employers and our college students.”
Picente said employer commitment is the reason the program has remained in operation since 1998. “The concept of internships to support the growth of our workforce is something everyone supports; this is an outstanding example of putting concepts into practice for the good of the company, the interns and Oneida County,” he said. “In this program, employers need to invest their own resources to match what the county has provided. This program is an extremely effective public-private partnership.”
Picente said the College Student Corps helps employers develop their long-range talent. “The College Corps helps to support the efforts of our employers attract the workforce they need for growth and success,” Picente said. “Employers gain because the interns, who really want to prove themselves, make a difference and are willing to work hard on projects. The program helps everyone: Our area gets a pipeline of potential workers who want to come back and have their foot in the door; employers like us get a first look at the great talent produced by our colleges, and the students get experience that will help them in college and when they look for jobs.”
Picente said college students don’t always know about the types of opportunity that exist in their home region. “Oneida County employers are doing business around the globe, competing successfully with the world, and developing cutting-edge products and services. Students may not know that. They won’t know it until they get inside our growing companies to see for themselves the great things happening in our region,” Picente said. “If we want to show our young people that there is a new region taking shape, there is no better way to do this than by bringing them into workplaces as interns so they can share their energy and creativity with employers, and also learn what the region really has to offer in terms of careers.”
Students are paid $9 an hour and usually work 200 hours over the summer. The program targets college juniors and seniors. Employers split the cost of the internships with County Government. Staff from the Oneida County Office of Workforce Development provides pre-screening for interns and does all of the paperwork.
“Any time you bring enthusiastic, energetic young people into the workplace, it helps everyone,” said Picente. “Employers get the services of a bright, young intern who wants to undertake challenging projects; interns gain experience and learn about the career field they want to enter while they learn about local opportunities in their field.”