Officials from government, business and higher education announced today at a ceremony on Scranton’s Courthouse Square a new internship initiative bringing together area college students with small businesses.
The collaborative program will provide a framework for local small businesses to offer more internship opportunities to area students by connecting the businesses with colleges and universities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It will be first piloted with three downtown Scranton businesses with hopes of expanding the initiative to other areas in the future.
“The Internship Initiative is a natural outgrowth of our Downtown Engagement Initiative, led by our Office of Community Relations, which has drawn thousands of students, parents, faculty and staff into downtown Scranton in new ways,” said Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., president of The University of Scranton. “The Internship Initiative will encourage our students and those enrolled at our sister colleges and universities in Northeastern Pennsylvania to take advantage of all that downtown Scranton has to offer.”
Through this partnership, local small businesses will receive help preparing for, selecting and managing interns from local colleges and universities. The schools will also help fill positions with qualified candidates by circulating the internship postings to students.The program was developed by several local organizations including The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center, The University of Scranton’s Office of Community Relations, Lackawanna County commissioners, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, the city of Scranton and Scranton Tomorrow.
“It is fitting that we stand on Courthouse Square in the shadow of the Electric City sign to announce a project brings together the vibrancy and creativity of young people with the dedication and innovation of Scranton businesses,” Father Quinn said. “It will, I think, be enriching for both.”
Father Quinn was joined by several other program participants who discussed the needs of local businesses and the impact the initiative could have on the local economy.
Among those who spoke at the ceremony were Scranton Tomorrow Executive Director Leslie Collins, The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center Director Lisa Hall-Zielinski, City of Scranton Mayor Christopher Doherty, and Lackawanna County Commissioners Corey O’Brien and James Wansacz. The first three businesses for the downtown pilot were also represented: Philip Condron of Condron & Company, Robert Dickert of Carl Von Luger Steak & Seafood, and Kathie Fox of Fanciful Fox, as well as representatives from area colleges including Marywood University, Penn State Worthington Scranton, King’s College and Wilkes University.