Summer Young Professionals Program Launched In Oakland CO

Waterford, MI - Young people ages 16-24 years-old who are looking for career-oriented employment opportunities are invited to apply to the Oakland NEXT: Summer Young Professionals program administered by Oakland County Michigan Works!

The program, which begins this month and runs through December, offers paid internship and work experiences to eligible persons in a variety of growing industries, including construction, manufacturing, health care and information technology. The Summer Young Professionals program also provides tuition assistance to earn certifications, as well as financial support and other incentives.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in April indicated 43 percent of businesses plan to offer hybrid internship programs this summer, featuring both in-person and remote experiences. The poll also revealed 38 percent plan to exclusively offer virtual internships, with 13 percent plan to offer just in-person experiences.

“It’s critical we grow our workforce in Oakland County,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Internships and paid work experiences are essential for both young people who are ready to begin their careers, as well as those who are still exploring their options. Likewise, employers will have the chance to connect with potential full-time job candidates.”

Program eligibility is based on several factors and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Oakland County Michigan Works! Director Jennifer Llewellyn said a paid work experience typically gives participants an idea of what to expect being employed in an industry. Compared to internships, they take place over a shorter period of time. Internships are usually a fixed-term work placement, often connected to their educational endeavors. In addition, internships typically give participants a more in-depth insight into a specific industry or job.

“Last year’s Summer Young Professionals program was a huge success, with a record number of people registering to participate and being placed with employers,” Llewellyn said. “We expect even more interest this year as the country rebounds from the pandemic.

Both paid internships and work experiences enable a person to earn while they learn, plus connect with working professionals eager to share their knowledge.”

1-800 Hansons launched its internship program three years ago. The windows, roofing and siding installer typically hires five interns each summer. The general labor shortage in the construction industry has impacted Hansons and interns play a key role in the company’s recruiting efforts to build its future workforce.

“Young people can take advantage of internships and apprenticeships and earn as they learn on the job, without incurring a huge amount of student debt,” said Installation Crew Recruiter Claude Lafnear. “Many don’t realize how important that is until later in their adult life. These opportunities can turn into good-paying, rewarding jobs.”

Individuals interested in applying for the Summer Young Professionals program should visit OakGov.com/YoungProfessionals. Employers who want to offer paid internships and work experiences should visit the website’s “Employers” section and submit an interest form. A business services representative will contact the employer to discuss its workforce needs.

Oakland County Michigan Works! operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy, and Waterford. Combined, they assist more than 105,000 job seekers annually. Services include career coaching, interviewing and job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses and job trend information.

The service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking assistance with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring, and training support, layoff support and labor market data.

Service center staffs remain available by virtual appointment to work one-on-one with job seekers to build their resumes, prepare for job interviews and help address other needs. To schedule a virtual meeting, call 1-248-858-5520 and select the office nearest to you. The service centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule can be found at OaklandCountyMIWorks.com.

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