Getting Technical: Internship pilot program can pave way to success

Emmy Beeson
Guest Columnist
Emmy Beeson is superintendent of Tolles Career & Technical Center.

In the last 13 months, so much of our lives have changed – what we can do, when we can do it and with whom we can spend our time.  

In the midst of these changes and a restructuring of our lives, the economy to support us still is chugging forward. There are so many unfilled jobs, huge gaps in skills needed for high-wage jobs and not enough people to fill them. 

This leaves us ripe for innovation. 

Phil Schlechty, one of my mentors, always said, “Nothing brings people together like a shared ordeal.”   

I can speak from experience that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us together and caused us to innovate in ways we might nor have reached for 10 years, if ever. Add the stress of the economy, school safety protocols and technology, then put them in a bag and shake them all up, and, wow – we are on the change fast track now. There is a silver lining. 

And speaking of change in the economy, Tolles Career & Technology Center always has partnered with business and industry for internship experiences.   

In the last three years, we have listened more intently to what our business partners need and we have restructured our programs to fit industry.   

Together, we have placed more than 75  students into internship experiences this year even amid the pandemic. Tolles wants to thank our business partners who found ways to work with us during these stressful times and for giving kids opportunities! 

Likewise, Tolles recently was named one of 12 High School Tech Internship Pilot Programs in the state through the Office of Workforce Transformation, supported by Lt. Gov. John Husted.  

“We know students stay in Ohio if they are connected to businesses at an earlier age, and that’s exactly what this pilot is doing,” Husted said. “The solution to your workforce shortage may be right under your nose at your local high school.” 

Participating businesses can be reimbursed for supporting student interns, especially those with industry credentials – cue career and technical centers.   

Now, more than ever, career technical centers make sense for the education of students.   

I love the words of Husted: “The solution to your workforce shortage may be right under your nose at your local high school.”   

And career technical centers such as Tolles also have been right under your nose this whole time.   

Students, parents, businesses: It’s time to check out your local career center.  

If you want to reach out to Tolles for more information about our career center, contact Cindy Alderman, marketing and recruiting specialist, at calderman@tollestech.com. 

If you want more information about internship opportunities for students or for businesses, contact Steve Cawley, internship coordinator, at scawley@tollestech.com. 

Emmy Beeson is superintendent of Tolles Career & Technical Center, which includes students from the Dublin and Hilliard school districts. Contact her at ebeeson@ tollestech.com.