Chautauqua Works Workforce Investment Board has released the Chautauqua Advancement Project (CAP) internship application. This internship program will begin in June and run through August 2022. The CAP Program is an innovative paid internship program for young professionals who have recently graduated or will be graduating this year from college or have recently completed or will be completing before June. This program is funded through Chautauqua County’s American Recovery Plan Act. The program strives to attract and retain a talented workforce that supports young professionals to start careers in the Chautauqua County area. “This innovative internship program is one of a kind and a great example of the local community investing in young professionals in the area. Over 10 years, we worked with over 75 young professionals and have successfully retained the talents of more than half of those interns at local businesses.” said Katie Geise, WIB Executive Director. “We hope to continue this trend with a new group of young professionals who want to remain in our area.”
Applicants will be brought in for an exploratory interview in order for Geise and her staff to get to know them and their career aspirations. “This internship program is unique in the sense that the type of internship is not decided by us, but by the applicant pool. We get to know what type of career an applicant hopes to pursue locally, and we go out to try to find the right match for the internship. We also do our best to develop an internship that has the potential to turn into a job opportunity,” said Jody Cheney, a member of the WIB staff.
This program benefits both the potential employer and the intern. The employers get to “try out” an intern, get to know them, get to know their abilities and skills, and make the determination on whether or not the intern is a good fit with their company for a potential new hire. The interns get a first-hand, on- the- job work experience, meet many new people that open up networking opportunities for them, and can add the experience to their resumes. “It is a win-win for everyone involved” states Geise.
The program will place interns at host organizations Monday-Thursday, while on Fridays the interns will work with Geise, the WIB staff, and partner organizations to develop leadership and networking skills while also coordinating community projects and exploring the many assets of the Chautauqua County. “During the program, we focus on building up the networks of the interns by hosting different events that allow interns to meet other young professionals and business leaders,” said Geise. “This can open up many more opportunities for the interns to become more involved and engaged in our community.”
“I began my internship at The Chautauqua Center Health Clinic and was quite nervous when I started. Through the first couple weeks though, I came to love everyone I worked with and realized it was a perfect fit for my summer internship. I was able to interact with patients and really get a feel for a career in healthcare.” States Maria Sena, former CAP intern.
“Aside from my great internship placement, the CAP Program has opened my eyes to everything that Chautauqua County has to offer. I have lived in the area all of my life and never really appreciated it until I learned something new and exciting about the community during our weekly CAP Fridays, which was my favorite part of this program. I've met so many wonderful people and am so grateful to have been part of this program.”
2016 CAP Interns. From left to right – 1st Row – Melissa Mee, Ellen Burns, Hayden Senn; 2nd Row – Brooke Munella, Maria Sena, Katie Geise, Emily Wynne; 3rd Row – Jody Cheney, Nick Anderson, Nate Larson, Jordan Nelson, Lindsey Rensel