Step 1: Recruitment
The recruitment period takes place from September to December. During this time our program coordinator seeks out area high school juniors and seniors through a screening process with the aid of local principals and guidance counselors. Guidance counselors are encouraged to suggest enrollment in the program to a wide variety of students who are often are in varying stages of educational development. This includes but is not limited to, English as a Second Language Students (ESL), students that are home-schooled, minorities, as well as overachievers. All students receive their application from either their counselors or the program coordinator. The program coordinator is able to personally recruit through attendance of career fairs sponsored by Grays Harbor school districts.
Businesses and nonprofits are also recruited by the program coordinator during this time. Grays Harbor YouthWorks has been able to maintain a strong relationship with many businesses in the area throughout its short history. Business recruitment is also contingent
on the desires and working priorities of the students being recruited in that given year. The program coordinator tries his/her very best to place students in internships they believe will be most beneficial to the student’s development as a productive member of society.
Step 2: Matching
The matching process for each student is driven by three priorities he/she identifies on their application. The student is closely matched with the occupation in which they would like to intern with.
Step 3: Orientation
The orientation is an assembly of parents, guidance counselors, principals, business hosts, and the student interns. We ask that all of these community members attend because it will take mutual collaboration amongst all these actors to ensure that the YouthWorks program
is a success its student interns. The orientation is an hour and a half discussion with both students and adults in which expectations for the internship year are discussed, and plans for success are outlined.
Each student intern will be guided by an on-site orientation as well as a mentor throughout his/her involvement with their company or nonprofit.
The program coordinator is responsible for monitoring and coaching the students and acting as a liaison between the business host, mentor, and the school until the internship is completed.
Step 4: Evaluation
The evaluation process uses a qualitative and quantitative approach to measure successful outcomes.
- The quantitative method is a rubric used to measure “soft skills” students should work to refine throughout the year. These soft skills include being timely, dressing appropriately, answering the phone, taking initiative, taking directions, working with collaboratively as a member of a team, and completing projects. This rubric is filled out at the beginning of the internship between the student and mentor and is facilitated by the program coordinator.
- The second quantitative measurement is assessment of each student’s GPA before and after their internship year. Deviations in GPA will be examined to determine whether the student’s internship participation affected his/her productivity in class.
- The third quantitative measurement is an evaluation form students fill out at the end of their internship detailing their overall experience in the program.
- The fourth measurement is qualitative in nature and is measured through separate exit interviews with the students and their business hosts. These interviews are carried out by the program coordinator and allows them to get a sense of what each student did or didn’t gain from their internship in ways a paper evaluation could not express. The program coordinator will also learn of each students’ plan beyond high school and what impact YouthWorks played in these decisions. Business hosts in their exit interviews are allowed a chance to express what they felt worked, what was challenging, and what they might change for future years if they decide to return as a host.
Career Pathway Program provides students from two select high schools to participate in an all-day learning and exposure to probable careers in the county through Grays Harbor College and local businesses in their areas.
Job Readiness Training Program sponsored by the Discuren Foundation offers a partnership with high schools lacking resources to provide this vital background prior to participating in the internship program. This program will be designed with the school CTE staff making it available for future use.
Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council sponsored the Summer 2017 program. The Arc of Grays Harbor County was the primary grantee who contracted with Grays Harbor Youth Works to assist them in recruiting students and employer hosts. SUMMER 2017 INTERN PROGRAM REPORTvi