Everyone gainsthrough high-techcity internships
In empowering high-schoolers with higher technology than the coffeemaker, Glenwood Springs is creating an internship program that’s more valuable to both the interns and the town.Bruce Munroe, the city’s director of information systems, soon will be training a few high school students for the city’s first technology internships. And it appears Glenwood’s first technology interns will be doing far more than make the coffee and answer the phones – they’ll be rewiring programs, accessing servers and navigating its technology system under the tutelage of Munroe.They’ll earn $9 per hour, two hours each school day, five days a week, but that’s not what sets Glenwood’s internship apart from the menial labor that’s part and parcel of many internships for high school – and, let’s be honest, college and postgraduate – students. The real benefit is they’ll be working with Munroe, who wants to put them on the front line of technology. And as someone who used to teach technology at the university level in Arizona, Munroe knows the territory. Along with that practical side, students will study and learn the city’s technology systems and absorb the knowledge of guest speakers from the valley’s technology companies. If that doesn’t seem like an even trade, consider what the city’s getting out of the program: a relatively inexpensive, hopefully inspired local work force. It’s easier to commit to two hours a day and get excited about work when an employer shows enough faith in its interns to put them on the cutting edge of knowledge. Glenwood well may reap the benefits far into the future should some of its interns want to keep working in town after high school – or return home after college, packed with even more knowledge.The second benefit, of course, is that Internet technology isn’t exactly an ancient discipline with a lot of knowledge set in stone. It’s still evolving, and it’s frequently young people behind the evolution – the interns certainly could prove pleasant surprises for Munroe and Glenwood Springs.Like the proverbial lunch, maybe there’s no such thing as a free internship. Glenwood’s new technology internships certainly aren’t free. Rather, both the city and the interns get something tangible from the relationship – and that’s why it’s a good arrangement.
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