Third Frontier Intern Program Aims To Keep Grads In Ohio

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College students looking for experience can find it by working as interns.

Companies who take on interns help themselves locate good employees.

This win-win scenario is the reason behind the Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program.

And it's why the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority signed on to participate in the program.

With a state grant of $180,000, the Port Authority is recruiting students and businesses.

“This is an awesome opportunity, not only for the business, but the students as well,” says Michele Tipton, who is the grant manager for the program and works out of Marietta.

“The internship program, really the goal is to help develop a pool of talented workers for Ohio businesses, in relation, and working with colleges, technical centers to help individuals in school obtain an internship at a business underneath the profession they are working on, their degree and work with the company. It’s great on the job training experience. Hopefully, at graduation they’ll be able to obtain a permanent job with the company and stay in Ohio,” said Tipton.

Tipton says three Washington State Community College students have already started their internships at Caron Products Services, Farrar Scientific and Corvus Recycling, all located in Washington County.

“We’ve got one with two months under their belt, we’ve got one with almost full-time status, actually, working 39 hours a week.  He’s really able to get a lot of on the job experience,” said Tipton.

The program of matching students to internships through the Third Frontier website is still fairly new.

Another student will go to work at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

As you may have noticed from the names of those companies, they have to be high tech in order to participate.

“As long as the business is in Ohio and a for-profit organization and is going to be working with an intern in one of seven different high tech categories, like advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, advanced energy, even information technology, we can place multiple interns at one particular company,” said Tipton.

Tipton says her goal is to create up to 60 intern positions.

“I’ve got a ways to go,” said Tipton. “My goal was to have at least a dozen at the end of the year. I’m still working on that. I’m hopeful that I will get close. I’m working with several different companies right now, waiting, hearing to see what they’re going to do, what they’re next move is. But yes, we can take up to 60 interns and this grant period goes up through June 30, 2013.”

Businesses or students who want to participate should apply online or they can contact Tipton at 740-568-1928.

“It’s a win-win situation for the student and the business has the opportunity to be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the intern’s wages. So, they have the flexibility here to work with the grant and get at least $3,000 back on that interns wage,” said Tipton.

Tipton says the program covers a 10 county area, including Guernsey, Muskingum and Morgan.