Kirkwood Community College celebrates milestone in summer internships

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - As companies throughout eastern Iowa search for young, skilled workers to full the pipeline, Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids is celebrating a milestone of getting kids ready for the real world.

Kirkwood Community College is celebrating a milestone when it comes to internships it offers to younger learners.

Over the summer, the college had more than 260 high school level students and below in academic internships. It was through the college's Workplace Learning Connection program.

Kirkwood preps the students by teaching them basic things like how to do a handshake. Kids worked at more than 140 businesses throughout eastern Iowa. The internships varied in hours, some of which were paid.

High school student Allison Hubble interned at Collins Aerospace.

"I learned so much,” she said. “I learned all about professional work environment, how I fit into that, how I adjust to that, which I discovered is something that's very different from school.”

“If we can inform, and prepare and align students to opportunities that fit their skills interest and passions, said Laurie Worden, director at the Workplace Learning Center. “We're gonna be much farther along in filling that pipeline than some of the strategies that we had previously."

School leaders say in fiscal year 2019, 29% of students that took part in the program were offered some type of employment, or was asked to continue on as volunteer.

Kirkwood is filled up already for fall internships. Next month they will start accepting applications for winter and spring internships. Click here to learn more information about the internships.