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WV Ready: Virtual internships have much to offer

Among the adaptations during the pandemic that might stick around well afterward, is the idea of virtual participation in everything from meetings to recitals. During this week’s Education Alliance Virtual EDTalk, education, business and community leaders discussed the WV Ready internship program for high schools juniors and seniors, and the degree to which a virtual option has enhanced that opportunity, as well.

Though there is great value in post-secondary education and pursuing a degree, many professionals will tell you they learned the skills that propelled their careers on the job. Internships are a fantastic way for young people to get that kind of hands-on education and experience.

Because the program provides graduation credit to students upon successful completion, virtual job shadowing and training at 13 West Virginia businesses, it gives students a leg up on their career prospects and in their communities. Businesses get a good look at potential employees who will one day be jumping into the workforce, too. Those advantages were not diminished when the program was forced to go virtual.

“By providing virtual internships and training during the school day, the WV Ready Internship program is truly a life-changing experience,” Amelia Courts, president and CEO of The Education Alliance, told another media outlet. “By moving this program into schools, it allows students across the state the opportunity to participate in an internship regardless of their geographical location.”

WV Ready’s internship program is a good fit for Mountain State students AND businesses. It is encouraging to see the lessons learned during this unusual past year seem only to have strengthened the effort.

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