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A student in the 16+ age group completes her training at Galileo High School prior to moving to the job site on June 14.

DANVILLE, Va. — This week, Danville Public Schools (DPS) students began their boot camp training prior to starting their summer internships. 

The summer youth internship program, made possible by a collaborative effort between the City of Danville, Danville Public Schools, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board, and Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. Students will receive a meaningful, paid work-based learning experience for more than 50 young adults ages 14 and up. 

The goal is to connect employers with a diverse talent pool and prepare students with transferable, in-demand skills, as well as industry certifications. 

“These students will receive valuable work experience by being part of this program,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “We are so excited for them and are happy to be one of the partners in this effort. ‘Thank you’ to Danville Public Schools and all the partnering agencies. We wish each student great success.”

The program includes an eight-week experience with the expectation that participants will work at their jobs sites and receive $10 an hour for their work. 

Twenty-five 14 and 15-year-old students will be working 12 hours per week at God’s Storehouse, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, Smokestack Theatre Company, and the Health Collaborative of the Dan River Region beginning June 21. Goodwill Industries of the Valleys coordinated placement of students and will provide funding for employment. 

Twenty-eight students aged 16 and older will join several different community organizations, including Danville Public Schools, the City of Danville Parks and Recreation Department and other departments within City hall. Additionally, students will intern in the Sheriff’s office, the Danville Police Department, the Danville Science Center, and the Animal Medical Center for 35 hours per week starting on June 14. 

Originally, 14-15 year-old students were not included in the program, but the school division was contacted by Goodwill Industries of the Valleys with a plan to employ the youth. The division received more than 70 applications for the intern positions. 

“As we prepare our students to be academic and career ready, this opportunity will provide students with developing new skills and applying skills taught in our classrooms” Joyce Culley, director of career and technical education at DPS, said. 

At their boot camps, students are working with facilitators on soft skills and workplace readiness and will complete testing for their National Career Readiness Certification. On Friday, June 11, students and their parents have been invited to meet and greet employers and other partners to prepare for their first day on the job. 

Students will work at their internships during the week, with a chance to debrief with program leaders on Fridays. 

“We are excited for our students and community partners and look forward to planning for next year,” Culley said. 

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The group of 14 and 15-year-old students receive their training at Goodwill's career center.

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