2009, UVBEP was able to expand TIPS to impact a greater number
of Vermont students and access a wider variety of businesses in
Vermont. Expanding TIPS to three schools has given up to 30 students
a chance to participate. TIPS is an internship program developed
to connect high school students with employers and real job opportunities
in the region. TIPS coordinators attribute the effectiveness of
the program to the balance of classroom work that informs and
engages students to think about their personal assets with individualized
opportunities to build upon those strengths. Pre-employment skills
classes closely aligned to quality internship experiences at select
local businesses, which leads to school credit and summer employment
for participating high school students. TIPS strives to optimize
the learning for students by matching personal interest and aptitude
to the internship experience whenever possible.
an Upper Valley career tour, Rivendell Academy and Oxbow High
School students explored various workplaces and learned more about
job requirements, employer expectations and professionalism. In
turn, students are equipped to make more informed educational
and career decisions in their individual lives. Our first stop
was the Veterans Administration Hospital in White River Junction,
Vermont. Serving the upper New England Area, this medical facility
provides an outstanding source of employment for many Upper Valley
workers. Lead by Volunteer Services Officer, Betty Acheson, our
group was able to see a generous sampling of many departments.
A guided tour through medical records, physical & art therapy,
X-ray, security and engineering gave students a flavor of the
diversity of employment opportunities that exist at the VA.
Next on tour was the King Arthur Flour warehouse. Recently named
one of the best places to work in Vermont (large company division)
by Vermont Business Magazine, King Arthur Flour showcased jobs
of all sorts. From receiving to test kitchen cooks, Tom Carlson,
Warehouse Manager, guided us through these employment opportunities.
Students observed King Arthur Flour’s efficient system of
taking orders from customers and packing them for shipment. Numerous
opportunities for growth exist within this company, which was
emphasized throughout the tour. A trip through the warehouse introduced
students to King Arthur products as well as their high standards
of production. Pride was evident at each step along the way and
was a persuasive testimony of the value of a positive work ethic
embedded in a cooperative effort to be the best at what they do.
Our third stop was Stave Puzzles in Norwich, Vermont. Our students
were able to see first hand the techniques and tools used by Master
Crafters to create hand cut, custom made wooden jigsaw puzzles.
The enthusiasm for the skills required for this business environment
were readily shared with the students by the energetic and focused
employees (Susan, Tammy and Megan to name a few) at this location.
Stave Puzzles appeared happy to get their message out to students
who were largely amazed to learn about an industry that was previously
unknown to them until their visit to this Norwich company.
Lisa Avery wears many hats at the Lake Morey Inn and Resort. She
gave our students a tour of the ins and outs of maintaining the
daily operations of a year round four star resort. There were
numerous job opportunities representing several interest areas
at this site. Students explored the entire facility and were able
to see the diverse employment opportunities at this hospitality
site. Massage therapists, front desk reception, housekeepers,
groundskeeper, maintenance and wait staff are just a few. Students
learned how important it is for their employees to work as a team.
Lisa stressed that she screens potential employees; looking for
individuals willing to give 110% in all that they do. The students
then were able to see how a four star resort functions year round
right in their own backyard.
day had a significant impact on students and would not be possible
without the many skilled and committed employees who work in these
businesses. These student visits will contribute in a positive
way to establish a more realistic benchmark for these young adults
entering the job market for the first time.
is offered to local high schools through a collaborative effort
of the Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership (UVBEP)
and Navicate. Thanks to a grant from the Vermont
Department of Labor’s Next Generation Fund, UVBEP has been
able to offer TIPS at three schools.
more or contact UVBEP for