City of Plano

Plano Mayor LaRosiliere kicks off the 2018 summer internship program

mayor harry plano internship

By James Edward

It’s that time of year again; Mayor Harry is kicking off the 2018 Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program.

With interim Plano ISD Superintendent Sara Bonser and several stellar interns at his side, Mayor LaRosiliere urged businesses to sign up for the program by the April 3 deadline and reminded Plano public school students to apply by March 6 at planomayorsinterns.org.

The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program combines Plano’s vibrant business community with a nationally recognized school district, connecting motivated high school students with local companies and organizations. The program is an invaluable “learn-and-earn” opportunity that teaches Plano public school students essential workforce skills and provides connections to some of the area’s top corporations and nonprofits. This year the eight-week paid internship program runs June 11-August 3, and students will earn a minimum of $9 per hour working 20-to-40 hours per week.

Mayor LaRosiliere also announced the return of the two- to three-week “teacher externship” program – supported by Capital One – that places Plano teachers into positions within the corporate environment, providing them powerful insights to expand and enhance their classroom instruction. Highly successful its inaugural year, teachers benefited from exposure to a professional workplace while, in return, they shared instructional expertise with their corporate and nonprofit employers. Additionally, the 11 externs imparted the knowledge they gained in professional development opportunities with educators throughout the district.

In its five-year history, the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program has more than tripled in size – growing from just 37 interns in 2014 to 116 interns in 2017. Thus far, 72 businesses and nonprofits have stepped up to sponsor or underwrite interns. The students represent every public high school in Plano, and nearly 36 percent of the interns are either part of AVID, a PISD program designed to prepare teens for college, or will be first-generation college students.

Mayor LaRosiliere expects to top last year’s record-breaking number of interns by recruiting businesses to host or sponsor at least 120 students for the 2018 program. For a fifth year, Capital One is the presenting sponsor.

“Over the last five years, I’m elated to report the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program has exceeded our expectations,” said Mayor LaRosiliere. “We have seen growth every year because our community partners have embraced the idea of preparing our future workforce and giving them valuable life skills. This past year the program evolved and included increased training and enrichment along with a teachers externship program. I am truly optimistic about Plano’s future because the community at large is preparing our youth today.”

Also joining Mayor LaRosiliere and Superintendent Bonser at today’s announcement was Megan Baker, senior director of brand marketing for Capital One Auto Finance along with five former interns including Daylon Davis, Plano East High School student and 2017 intern at At Home, The Home Décor Superstore; Vaibhavi Hemasundar, Plano ISD Academy High School student and 2017 intern at Ericsson; Avery Klatsky, Plano West Senior High School student and 2017 intern at AdvoCare; Maria Palacios, Plano East High School student and 2017 intern at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano; and Ben Simon, Plano ISD Academy student and 2017 intern at Ericsson. In addition, Joanna Anderson, environmental science teacher at Plano East High School, was on hand to describe her externship experience at NTT Data.

The kick-off was held at Plano ISD Academy High School, a stand-out hub for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning. Mayor LaRosiliere described it as “a school unlike anything you’ve ever seen.”

The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program interns benefit from real-life experiences in the workplace, meaningful assignments and opportunities to shadow executives. They observe company operations, network with managers and executives, and gain exposure to a wide array of careers. Companies and nonprofits also win because students bring a level of energy and creativity that adds real value to the workplace. Plus, employers get to connect with their future workforce, which Mayor LaRosiliere believes is crucial because he hopes these brilliant young people will bring their talents back to Plano upon graduation from college.

Businesses, large and small, can participate in several ways – by sponsoring an intern at their workplace, underwriting an intern at a nonprofit or government agency, or becoming a program sponsor. Interns work 20 to 40 hours weekly at a minimum of $9 per hour. Companies pay a $500 program fee for each intern that covers the various training and enrichment activities, the Job Fair and the luncheon ticket. Also, a few program sponsorship opportunities remain.

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere on Plano 3.0

“Capital One has been a proud sponsor of this program for several years, and we’re excited to once again host interns and teacher externs to help them gain critical business and digital skills,” said Jeff Rabinowitz, Managing Vice President, Capital One Auto Finance. “As part of our Future DFW commitment, we’re focused on nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. This is one way we help prepare more Americans with the skills, tools, and resources needed to succeed in a digital economy.”

In addition to presenting sponsor Capital One, Alliance Data is the Internship Enrichment and Training sponsor and JPMorgan Chase is the Job Fair sponsor. Other program sponsors are AT&T; Bank of America; Boeing; Columbus Realty Partners; Granite Properties; Hilton Dallas Plano Granite Park; Kroger; Liberty Mutual; NTT Data; Oncor; and Trammell Crow Company.

To date, participating businesses that have sponsored or underwritten internships, which already exceeds last year’s total. As of Feb. 22, participating companies for 2018 are AdvoCare; Aimbridge Hospitality; Alliance Data; Anderson Merchandisers; Asociar; At Home, The Home Décor Superstore; Bank of America; Baylor Scott & White Medical of Plano; Boeing; Booster Fuels; Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT); Capital One; CBRE; Children’s Health; Cigna; City of Plano; Collin College; Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center; David McCall, Attorney at Law; Ericsson; FedEx; Gaedeke; Gleneagles Country Club; Granite Properties; Hilti; I2R – Integrity Integration Resources; JCPenney; McAfee; Medical City Plano; Montgomery Capital Advisors, LLC; Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP; NTT Data; Origin Bank; PepsiCo/Frito-Lay; Plano Chamber of Commerce; Plano ISD; Regal Research and Mfg. Co.; Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Plano; Toyota Motors North America; Toyota of Plano; UBS; Wells Fargo Foundation; and Williamsburg Custom Homes.

Student recruitment continues through March 6

The Mayor is also recruiting students to apply now through March 6 at planomayorsinterns.org. To qualify, students must complete an online application, which includes a short essay. Additionally, applicants must be enrolled as sophomores or juniors (seniors are not eligible) at a Plano ISD high school; have a 3.0 GPA (minimum); be 16 years of age by June 11, 2018; and be eligible to work in the United States.

They must also attend Internship Prep training on Saturday, March 24, which focuses on resume development and interviewing, business communication, professional dress and personal goal planning.

How high school football integrated Plano schools

Once those requirements are met, employers will interview intern candidates at the program’s highly competitive Job Fair slated for Friday, April 20, from 2-7 p.m. at Collin College’s Spring Creek Campus Conference Center. Selected students will receive a formal job offer in May. If chosen, students will then complete an additional two days of Intern Training and Enrichment on Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7, when business soft skills, networking, teambuilding and work-readiness topics will be addressed.

The year culminates with Mayor LaRosiliere hosting a luncheon honoring the interns and employers on Monday, July 30, at the Hilton Granite Park.

For more information, please go to planomayorsinterns.org.

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