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New Internship Program to Begin in 2017

The Bennington Comprehensive Internship Program (BCIP) is a unique and exciting opportunity for local businesses and the entire Bennington community. An assessment conducted by the BCRC discovered something that many Benningtonians already knew: while businesses struggle to find employees, local workers struggle to find a job. One reason is that workers often lack the skills local businesses are looking for in employees.

A well-designed internship program presents one way to address this disconnect. Internships provide employers the opportunity to teach needed skill sets and can lead to a supply of new employees. However, BCRC’s studies also indicate that employers often struggle to find ways to most effectively train and deploy interns.

The BCIP aims to solve these problems through three strategies. BCIP will provide coaching for employers through the internship process, from developing an internship project to supervisory roles and evaluation. BCIP also will match interns participating in the program to a mentor from the community. And finally, BCIP will pay for interns to attend workshops and trainings outside of the workplace that will enable them to succeed in their chosen field.

As BCIP launches its pilot program, it seeks business partners (especially those that have been reluctant to host interns or have had frustrating experiences in the past). Businesses who work with BCIP will receive help with recruitment, screening applicants, project development, and ongoing management of interns. Duration, compensation, and hours of the internship will be determined by the employer.

BCIP is made possible through a Regional Workforce Partnership grant from the Vermont Department of Labor and a partnership of BCIC, BCRC, and The Lightning Jar. For more information, contact Michelle Marrocco at the BCRC.