The Ohio Means Internships and Co-ops grant program at Southern State Community College connects interns with businesses and helps students acquire real-world experience, according to two speakers at Tuesday’s meeting of Hillsboro’s Rotary Club.
Josh Montgomery, assistant professor of computer science, and Amy McClellan, academic service specialist at SSCC, described the program, with McClellan noting that more than $1 million has been received from the state to promote internships in the co-ops’ Southeast region.
Montgomery said the program curriculum is determined by what business partners need, and that it strives to meet three important goals for students – a college degree, certification in the targeted field, and real-world experience.
According to program information distributed Tuesday, the purpose of Ohio Means Internships is “an investment of state and private dollars to increase the number of internships and co-ops for employers and students in key industries to close the skills gap, increase student completion, and give Ohio a competitive advantage in the global human capital talent marketplace.”
Benefits to employers who participate in the program include being eligible for 50 percent salary reimbursement for interns for up to 400 hours, and “providing learning opportunities for college students in high-demand, high-wage industries.”
Montgomery said that out of about 100 interns who have been placed in internships, only three did not eventually graduate, and “I’m still working on them.” The college has worked with 18 regional employers, he said.
Businesses interested in exploring the possibility of becoming part of the program can contact Montgomery by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montgomery and McClellan were introduced by Dr. Nicole Roades, vice president of academic affairs, who said Dr. Kevin Boys, president of SSCC and a Hillsboro Rotarian, asked her to set up Tuesday’s program.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.