CE ASTORINO AND ODELL LAUNCH ONLINE INTERNSHIP PORTAL
TO MATCH LOCAL COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH EMPLOYERS
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell today unveiled a dynamic, one-stop Web portal designed to connect locally enrolled college students with internship opportunities at employers throughout the two counties.
The Westchester-Putnam Internship Connex program was developed by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board (WIB) in partnership with 13 area colleges, the Business Council of Westchester and other businesses. The program will match students in specific fields of study and local businesses needing workers with these same skills.
“This new portal was developed in response to the needs of our colleges and our businesses,” said Astorino. “Students will get meaningful experience in their field, make professional contacts and get paid or get college credit. The businesses will have access to highly motivated students who we hope will continue to live and work here after they graduate from college. We in Westchester call ourselves New York’s Intellectual Capital – and we intend to keep it that way, through programs such as this.”
“Putnam believes in investing in tomorrow’s leaders and we know from experience that these young achievers walk through a workplace door capable of learning quickly and multi-tasking,” said Odell. “They bring with them fresh, global perspectives, an eager ‘Why not?’ attitude and a fierce determination to succeed. This positive connection will only serve to strengthen each of our counties and keep young talent within our business communities.”
The site can be accessed at: www.westchesterputnaminternships.com.
It will be managed by the Business Council of Westchester, under contract with the WIB.
The WIB and the two counties have been partners with the Business Council in the past on building the region’s skilled workforce, including summer job programs and internships.
The concept for creating a Web site devoted to internships was first introduced by the Business Council’s Coalition for Business Development in 2011, and further refined by the council’s study on “youth flight” released last year. The study, which involved a series of focus groups among young professionals and college students, called for developing a consortium of all Westchester colleges and universities that would provide young professionals with access to employment, internships and mentoring opportunities.
The internship portal will offer year-round placements and allow both employers and students to tailor the program to search by major, minor, skills set, sector, industry, profession, hours per week or duration of the internship.
“The Business Council is very proud to have been the catalyst for the development of this vitally important Web site, which will connect local college and university students with internship opportunities at area employers in Westchester and Putnam counties,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the council.
Already, she said, more than 90 businesses and almost every college in the two counties have signed up to participate. Among the initial businesses that have sign up are Regeneron, WestMed, Candela Systems, Buzz Creators, ArtsWestchester, The New NY Bridge, Harquin Creative and the Westchester Bar Association. The Web site has a full list of cooperating businesses.
The 13 partnering higher education institutions will promote Connex to their student body, assist students in the application process and support both the student and employer throughout the duration of the internship. Collectively, these colleges and universities represent students in over 200 diverse programs of study.
Participating colleges and universities include: Berkeley College, Concordia College,
Dominican College, Fordham University, Iona College, LIU Hudson at Westchester, Manhattanville College, Monroe College, Pace University, Sarah Lawrence College, SUNY Westchester Community College, The College of New Rochelle and The College of Westchester.
“This new resource will help connect our students and alumni to our local partners in industry,” said Joseph Hankin, president, Westchester Community College. “The Connex collaboration creates an easy-to-use portal for colleges, current and former students, and employers to post or apply to internships. It simplifies the entire process.”
The program’s Web site is sponsored by the Westchester Department of Social Services and the Westchester Industrial Development Agency.