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Springfield & Clark County High School Students Spend Summers Interning for Local Companies As Part of Our Workforce Development Strategy

Friday, November 17, 2023

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In a time when workforce shortages plague communities nationwide, Expand Greater Springfield is proudly leading the way with a proven strategy to tackle this challenge. The secret lies in an innovative workforce development program that starts early, offering high school students valuable experiences through internships.

Among these initiatives is the successful internship program with Night Dispatch, a local company. This program has not only provided four high school students with opportunities to explore and grow their career skills, but it has also equipped them with essential structure and soft skills training, ensuring they are better prepared for their future careers.

The Night Dispatch Internship Program

The program, now in its second year, has made significant strides since its inception. In the first year, there was just one student who participated, but in the Summer of 2023, the program expanded to include four students, making it clear that it's a resounding success.

The internship program ran from June 1st to August 1st, with the first two days dedicated to a comprehensive introduction to essential soft skills, setting the tone for a productive summer ahead. To ensure these young interns receive the best training possible, local resources were brought in to assist with soft skills development.

These sessions included Junior Achievement for financial literacy, a staff member from the juvenile court system to teach conflict resolution, and a business coach who explained organizational structures and the appropriate channels for addressing issues and questions within a company.

Success at Night Dispatch

A notable highlight of this program was the feedback from Night Dispatch. According to a Night Dispatch CEO Christina Walters, "They were great. They were probably some of the best workers I've ever had. Sometimes people are concerned about having high school students on board, but these kids were so easy to work with, and they were excited every day coming into work."

The interns at Night Dispatch played a pivotal role in creating a new auditing department dedicated to ensuring that night dispatchers were performing their duties correctly. These industrious young minds listened to calls and meticulously monitored the dispatching processes to ensure compliance. This department proved to be incredibly successful and efficiently run, to the point where Night Dispatch had to find additional workers to replace the high school interns.

The CEO lamented, "I’m looking on Indeed right now for new employees, and I just wish that the program was still happening because I have had such a positive experience with the students and wish that they could still be here working."

Expand Greater Springfield Benefits From an Early Workforce Development Strategy

This success story not only highlights the potential of high school students but also demonstrates the immense benefits of an early workforce development strategy. Springfield's commitment to nurturing its future workforce through programs like this is a shining example for other communities grappling with workforce shortages.

It's a win-win situation where local businesses get the assistance they need while high school students gain invaluable career skills and experience. Springfield, Ohio is a community that knows how to invest in its future.

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