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Businesses Needed to Mentor Technology Interns

A Richmond area summer internship program wants to open more doors for bright high school students and help more Richmond employers find the qualified workers they need. The Virginia Technology Interns Program (VTIP) provides students with hands-on technology experience in the business environment. Now in its 7th year, VTIP is an eight week program organized by RichTech, VirginiaFIRST, and Genworth Financial. Employers interested in participating in the Virginia Technology Interns Program have until March 5th to enroll in this year’s program. Businesses who want to learn more about VTIP should call Leighann Scott Boland at (804) 864.1444.

“I am convinced that one of the most important investments we can make for our future is in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math education,” said Lyn McDermid senior vice president and Chief Information Officer at Dominion, one of the companies that participate in the technology internship program. “VTIP not only provides high school students with the experience of seeing technology at work, it also gives companies in the Richmond area a preview of future employees and encourages local business leaders to mentor and encourage a budding scientist or technologist.”

“Last year, we were able to place about two dozen students with local firms,” said Pattie Cook, executive director of VirginiaFIRST.  “We want to offer this kind of opportunity to more students. We’ve only been able to accept about one third of the student applicants because of a limited number of intern openings.”

"My participation in the Virginia Technology Interns Program introduced me to web development and provided me with a chance to utilize the software coding skills that I learned in college in a real-word environment,” said Laith Al-Samir, a VTIP alumnus. “This practical experience helped open doors to future employment opportunities all over the U.S."

"I have been so impressed by the maturity and enthusiasm of our applicants,” said VTIP coordinator Leighann Scott Boland. “Often these students are asked by their company mentors to return and intern a second year. These are the best and brightest kids in our region and it shows."

2011 VTIP participants included abcReps.com, AMF, Anton Paar, Dominion, Dominion Digital, Genworth Financial, Media General, Peak 10, Science Museum of Virginia, Strategic Solutions, and Sycom Technologies.

Watch the video below of the 2011 Virginia Technology Interns program kickoff.

Businesses who want to learn more about VTIP should call Leighann Scott Boland at 804- 864-1444.

Article by: James Babb, VirginiaFIRST