The Greenwood Community High School senior thinks he may want to go into construction as a career.
That’s a conclusion that Conner Battinau has come to since he started an internship with a local construction company through a new program at his school. He spends three hours a day on most school days learning the business side of running a construction business. He has designed key chains that are being passed out at the company as a marketing tool.
“I see a new side of business, something you won’t see at school,” he said.
Greenwood Community High School has started a career and internship outreach program that is meant to allow some juniors and seniors to spend about half of their school day at internships that college and career coordinator Joe Bradburn helped them find.
For years, Greenwood students have been able to attend Central Nine Career Center, a technical training school, for part of the day to be able to explore an occupation.
Greenwood’s program is meant to specifically build partnerships with local businesses to secure internships for students and to create a community partnership with a business that could result in sponsorships. Students are interning at day cares, construction businesses and other businesses across Greenwood, Bradburn said.
“We are going to extend and expand and reach out to the community more,” he said.
About 10 students are enrolled in the new program this fall. Bradburn spends half of his teaching day trying to secure partnerships that could result in an internship for students eventually.
“Our kids are just starting to get aware of the opportunities now,” he said.
Part of why the program was started was to give students a chance to try out a career they have been eyeing before they commit to studying it in college, where the stakes are higher for students, he said.
“It gives them the chance to explore the work world a little bit,” said Bradburn. “It gets (students) to reach into different thought processes and interests.”
Now the goal is to grow the program so that more students and businesses want to participate, said Bradburn.
The partnership helps both sides, with students gaining invaluable work experience and companies getting a young, fresh mind to help their business, he said.
“The main thing is to expand and to get kids and businesses to understand what we are doing,” Bradburn said.
Students have the potential to get more out of an internship for a specific career interest than they might get sitting in a classroom, Battinau said.
“I am getting networked better than if I was siting in a classroom all day,” he said.