Connecting talented youth with local businesses is vital to our economy. In fact, many North Coast businesses struggle to recruit and retain qualified employees to keep things running smoothly and in some cases, just to keep the doors open. Students also often find it difficult to find opportunities for career exploration, especially for those looking to stay close to home after graduating from high school.

The Clatsop WORKS internship program has both businesses and students in mind, and is designed to build a stronger, better trained, more employment-ready local workforce, highlight to businesses the presence and quality of the local workforce, showcase the living-wage career opportunities available in Clatsop County, and help students narrow down career options before choosing expensive paths to college.

Clatsop WORKS not only helps businesses fill crucial positions, but it does so by connecting them with local youth who are invested in contributing to our local community and have roots here in Clatsop County.

Twenty-two Clatsop County students recently completed paid, professional internships at 13 host sites in healthcare, forestry products and manufacturing, marketing, public safety, retail, education, construction, and more during summer 2019.

The feedback from participating local businesses has been very positive. As one summer 2019 host employer shared, “These are very qualified and ambitious students looking to build skills as they move into college or post-college environment.” Many Clatsop WORKS host sites have participated since the program’s inception in 2018 and have already seen the positive impact on their organizations. “This is our second year participating in this wonderful program, and we have had the good fortune of having two fantastic interns. Last year’s intern was hired on with us during the fall and continues with us today.”

For many students, Clatsop WORKS is their first exposure to the professional workplace. As one student said, “I had the opportunity to publish my work and build a portfolio of all my projects. I loved what I did! I could use my creativity.” Another intern appreciated the investment their host employer made to create a fulfilling experience: “They fit the job to my strengths. It was a wonderful experience.”

Interns also have the opportunity to network with other businesses during weekly professional development days, share ideas with peers, learn important workplace skills, and get the encouragement and guidance necessary to succeed.

Now in its third year, Clatsop WORKS is made possible through partnerships with the schools districts of Astoria, Warrenton-Hammond, Knappa, Seaside, and Jewell, Clatsop Community College, and the Northwest Regional Educational Service District.

Student and business recruitment is now underway for summer 2020!

If you’re a business owner interested in recruiting local talent — look no further. We ask our host sites to provide interns with full-time work (at least minimum wage) for the duration of our summer internship program, along with a mentor to offer guidance, support, and vital knowledge specific to your field of work.

And, if you’re a Clatsop County high school or college student (ages 16-plus) and want to enhance your career exploration and work experience, you’re in the right place. Our Clatsop WORKS staff is here to help you compete the application process, write a resume, and prepare for interviews. You can apply for several positions at businesses countywide using a single Clatsop WORKS application.

Our applications for host sites and students will open beginning Oct. 15, 2019. The application deadline is Feb. 7, 2020. Please apply at www.clatsopworks.com.

Please contact Ryan Stanley, Clatsop WORKS coodinator, at 503-338-2507 for more information.

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