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Event to connect lcoal employers & local students

Employers from the region are invited to connect with area colleges at an upcoming event in an effort to increase student interaction with employers through internships. The Intern Expo is scheduled for Wednesday, April 2nd from 3 to 7 p.m. in the gymnasium of Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua. The event is free and open to any organization that could utilize college interns.At the Intern Expo, colleges from the region will be present with information tables and representatives from each institution. Businesses, government, and non-profit organizations are invited to provide information on internship opportunities, paid or unpaid, and enter postings directly into internet-based sites that are used by the colleges and students to find internships. Assistance will be available for filling in information.For employers that may need help in structuring an internship, a free resource guide will be available. A representative from Keuka College will also be presenting a 30-minute workshop to help employers structure internship programs that are mutually beneficial to both the business and student. For organizations that have established an internship program, this presentation will also allow for the sharing of best practices, in an effort to enhance the learning experience. Sally Ann Swartley, Coordinator of Field Periods and Internships as Keuka College, will present the workshop at 4 and 6 p.m.The event is being coordinated by the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board (WIB), in partnership with Finger Lakes Community College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Keuka College, and chambers of commerce from Seneca, Ontario, Yates, and Wayne counties. The WIB’s mission is to connect job seekers with workplace opportunities in the four county region. Through One-Stop Centers, the WIB helps job seekers improve their workplace skills and find employment. Employers utilize the WIB to fill new workforce needs and improve the skills of existing employees so those businesses can remain competitive and grow. Through internships, employers have increased resources to address targeted projects, implement new initiatives, or assist with ongoing needs. Students can bring fresh perspectives, energy, and expertise to a workplace. Strong interns are often hired upon graduation. Even if the internship does not lead directly to a job, students are able to develop workplace skills, as well as a portfolio and resume, and make business connections that could be beneficial down the road. A long-term goal of this program is to retain a greater percentage of the thousands of young people that graduate from Upstate colleges and universities each year. Despite one of the highest concentrations of higher learning institutions in the country, the region has been experiencing a net loss of college graduates for nearly two decades. The Spitzer administration is giving attention to the issue through the “I Live NY” initiative. Increasing awareness of the employment opportunities in the region through this internship program will encourage more young people to stay and work Upstate.This event will be free to attend and open to any sized business, government or non-profit organization. Light refreshments will be available and live music will be performed by FLCC Music and Music Recording programs, with sufficient opportunity to connect with the participating institutions and network with businesses from the region. Registration is requested but not required by visiting www.fingerlakesworks.com or by calling the Finger Lakes WIB office at 315-789-3131. Businesses interested in supporting the event should contact Karen Springmeier at the WIB. Colleges interested in participating should contact Sally Ann Swartley at Keuka College at sswartle@mail.keuka.edu or by phone at 315-279-5274.

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