As the NC Chamber Foundation continues to work with the state’s business and education communities to advance initiatives that foster a world-class, career-ready workforce across North Carolina, we’re also continuing to highlight innovative champions of workforce readiness with our bi-weekly #WorkReadyWednesday campaign. This week, we’re spotlighting the efforts of the Wake County-based Academy of Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing (AoE).
The AoE is a small learning community within Apex Friendship High School that integrates core instruction requirements with engineering electives, and then couples this academic experience with first-hand internship experience in engineering workplaces to enable student participants to maximize the connections between their classroom learning and real-world application. Like similar programs around North Carolina, the Academy provides students at its host school with an excellent opportunity they might not otherwise receive to grow the personal, analytical, technical and communications skills they will need to thrive in any STEM-related industry.
As part of the program, rising seniors are required to complete a minimum of 135 hours in an internship program as a capstone to the overall experience, and this is where AoE is seeking help from local employers to help sponsor these all-important internship experiences. All Academy internships should be located within a reasonable distance of the Apex Friendship campus, have a focus on STEM and provide students with a chance to apply the Engineering Design Process in the work they are performing (creative solutions to this challenge can be integral to creating an engaging experience for students). Academy students are each covered with a $1,000,000 liability policy through the Wake County Public School System while working through the program, and a proof of insurance certificate can be provided to your organization upon request.
Benefits of sponsoring an internship program are many, including:
- Increased name recognition for your company’s community involvement
• Potentially cost-effective means of completing special projects that cannot be managed by current staff
• Fostering engagement between your company and its local talent pipeline
• A fresh perspective on problems with current industry knowledge
• Rehired interns can greatly reduce training and onboarding costs
If you are an area employer interested in learning more or potentially taking advantage of this unique opportunity to build a stronger connection between your company and your local talent pipeline, we encourage you to reach out to Academy Director Diane Cadavid at email@example.com. If you are not an area employer but are aware of similar work-based training programs in your local community, we hope you will share that information with us by reaching out to Policy Development Manager Cassi Zumbiel at firstname.lastname@example.org. It could end up being featured in a future update for our #WorkReadyWednesday campaign.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber