The Student Internship Program (SIP) provides opportunities for clients to work in a real-world environment. After completing the classroom portion of their vocational training, clients will be referred for a community placement (typically six weeks). Clients have the choice of completing their internships in the local community (Staunton/Fishersville) or in their home communities.
The SIP benefits clients by providing an opportunity to gain confidence outside of the academic environment and prove work readiness by demonstrating skills and habits that meet expectations for entry-level employment. Clients who successfully complete an internship can earn a positive job reference from their internship site.
In the local area, internships are usually with employers who have an established partnership with Vocational Training and a long history of working with interns. In this case, transportation and lunches are provided by Vocational Training and the experience is closely monitored as clients reside on the WWRC campus.
Internships in home communities allow a greater chance of clients being hired at an internship site but require more independence and typically a higher level of community or family support. Clients choosing this option are responsible for helping to identify a potential internship site, providing their own meals and arranging transportation to the site. In addition, the DRS field counselor must agree to be the contact person for incidents that could require immediate attention.
In some cases clients may have the opportunity to participate in an internship with a company that requires drug testing or a criminal background check. This is a voluntary activity. No client will be required to participate in an SIP if they do not wish to take the drug test or have a criminal background check. However, if a client does take a requested drug test or has a background check completed, this may result in preventing the client from participating at an internship site. If this situation occurs, the client will need to meet with their assigned WWRC rehabilitation counselor to decide on an appropriate plan of action.