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Students experience real-world learning through internship course

April 14, 2021

News Release from The Education Alliance

Charleston, WV --Today, engineers from Appalachian Power met with Herbert Hoover High School Interns participating in The Education Alliance’s West Virginia Ready Internship pilot program. The students are learning about electrical engineering as part of their mentoring and capstone project with Appalachian Power. Together, they explored a “behind the scenes” look at the electrical systems that will support the new high school building currently under construction.
This morning, American Electric Power Foundation announced a five-year, $250,000 grant to The Education Alliance to expand the WV Ready Internship program to other West Virginia high schools. The Education Alliance launched the WV Ready Internship Program in 2019 by placing high school juniors and seniors as interns with West Virginia businesses to develop career readiness. Due to COVID-19, the program transitioned to a school-based, semester-long Virtual Internship course offered in five pilot schools including Herbert Hoover. The course provides virtual job shadowing and training at 13 different businesses across West Virginia and matches each school with a business mentor to cultivate employability skills. Students earn graduation credit upon successful completion of the course. The program will continue to expand over the next five years to serve more of the state’s soon-to-be graduates, with the eventual goal being to expand statewide.
“We are grateful to Appalachian Power for partnering to provide career development and mentoring for students in this innovative program,” said Dr. Amelia Courts, president and chief executive officer of The Education Alliance. “By providing virtual job shadowing and training during the school day, the WV Ready Internship Program is truly a life-changing experience. I want to thank the American Electric Power Foundation for their generous financial support that will enable students around the state to become ‘WV Ready Graduates’ who are ready for success after high school.”
“Investing in our next generation is critical to the future success of West Virginia,” said Chris Beam, president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power. “AEP believes education is the foundation of a brighter future. Tomorrow’s innovators rely on us to show them the way. Our leadership is focused on giving teachers resources, like the WV Ready Internship program, to inspire students to explore STEM and become future innovators.”
The course consists of weekly virtual business-led job shadowing, training modules and business mentoring calls, along with a capstone project assigned by participating businesses. As part of their capstone project, students from Herbert Hoover High School have been paired with Appalachian Power to learn about power generation and transmission, basic energy and power calculations, power line design specifications, as well as right-of-way, meter, and power line construction discussions. The interns reported the training, mentoring, and capstone experience to be a pivotal step toward their future careers.
The WV Ready Internship program is made possible with generous support from American Electric Power Foundation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing WV, the Benedum Foundation, and the Steeley Foundation. To learn more about the program, visit EducationAlliance.org. 


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