Iowa Lakes Community College Awarded Funds for Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program

(Estherville, Iowa) Iowa Lakes Community College receives a $246,720 grant from the Future Ready Iowa Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program to pilot a Career Ready! Summer Youth Internship Program. The Career Ready! Summer Youth Internship Program will address the disconnect between high school students just driving by businesses to understanding the different employment opportunities in the five-county region served by Iowa Lakes.

Iowa Lakes will partner with over 20 businesses throughout the college district to provide a minimum of 60 high school students for work through hands-on experience in high-demand jobs.

“High school students will gain valuable work experience this summer by being matched with local employers. This will help expand student awareness of career opportunities in the area and increase the local talent pool for growing employers,” said Jolene Rogers, the Iowa Lakes Executive Director of Community and Business Relations.

The three primary goals of the Career Ready! Summer Youth Internship project are:

  1. Match students with company requests through an interview process,
  2. Ensure all participants update or create a career pathway, and
  3. Create a synergy, so the program becomes self-sustaining in the future.

“Participating students will be prepared for success in the workplace by completing Essential Skills classes, preparing students for interviews and other soft skills, along with any skill refresh or enhancement needed, such as welding certifications. We hope the work experience will encourage high school students to determine their future career paths while discovering success in the workplace. These students will gain a variety of skills by bringing their best to the job every day, being responsible team members, and developing a commitment to being prepared,” explains Rogers.

The Career Ready! Summer Youth Internship project encourages businesses to look broadly throughout their companies to provide their intern(s) with an experience that encourages participants to complete high school while developing additional credentials in a high-demand field.

“This opportunity builds on the job shadow experience for some students through Connect at Iowa Lakes coordinated by Autumn Larsen,” said Kari Hampe, Iowa Lakes High School Partnership Director.

“We (Iowa Lakes) work in tandem with the schools and the college business partners to formulate career pathways to assist students in preparing for a successful future, in a job they enjoy,” continued Hampe. “This project will emphasize the need to complete certifications or training after high school for long-term success.”

The Future Ready Iowa Act, an initiative to ensure 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce between the ages of 25-64 have education and training beyond high school by the year 2025, funded the Summer Youth Internship Pilot Program as a way to develop Iowa’s skilled workforce. Iowa Lakes was among 26 awardees from the program.

For businesses interested in participating by offering one or more internships, please contact Hampe at or 712.852.5228.

For additional information, contact Jolene Rogers, Iowa Lakes Executive Director of Community & Business Relations, at or 712.362.0431.