Lorain County Community College has been awarded a grant from the Ohio Board of Regents that will help grow internships and co-ops for community college students in Northeast Ohio.
LCCC and Stark State College in North Canton will receive a combined $444,813 for the NEO Career Advantage Internship/Co-op Initiative. "This is a regional collaborative effort between LCCC and Stark State and nine regional and state-wide industry groups, 18 individual employers and the LCCC Foundation," said Marcia Jones, manager of LCCC’s Career Services.
The grant – one of 22 awarded to 10 community colleges and 13 public or private universities – are funded from $11 million in casino license fees. The awards are contingent upon the approval of the State Controlling Board in January. "These awards are meant to provide Ohio employers with opportunities to benefit from the talents of Ohio’s college and career technical students," said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro. "And they’ll provide students with valuable internship or co-op experience."
The funds will be used to develop up to 91 new internship or co-op opportunities while working with local employers to match talent to need. A majority of these internships and co-ops will be targeted to the Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Aviation, BioHealth and Information Technologies industries. The bulk of the funds will be used to reimburse employers for intern wages or scholarships.
"These collaborations will focus on promoting the value of community college student talent and the level of skill and quality that can be secured by using community college students," Jones said.
The funds will also allow LCCC to further develop the Career Advantage Program that combines career and professional development activities with participation in internships and co-ops that lead to a recognized transcript notation for students.
Additionally, the grant enhances the college’s ability to advance experiential education by working with established advisory committees and faculty members to develop new internship/co-ops expectations; establish clear benchmarks leading to embedding experiential education (including internships and co-ops) into every program of study; and developing goals and objectives that meet National Society for Experiential Education standards and OBOR expectations.
"The grant will help us cultivate new internships and co-ops with employers who do not offer any at this time or may only offer them to four-year college students," Jones said.