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Partnership to provide clothing for Clark County student internships, seeks to grow workforce

Thursday, May 09, 2024

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A new partnership seeks to provide more internship opportunities for Clark County students and encourage workforce growth throughout the community.

The Greater Springfield Partnership has partnered with Dayton nonprofit Clothes That Work, to fit students in its Magnify internship program with attire fitting the job. The nonprofit will bring its mobile RV unit, stocked with needed clothing, to Springfield for students to wear to interviews and on the job.

Since the 1990s, Clothes That Work has helped people transitioning from public assistance to employment by providing professional work attire for interviews in the Dayton region. The organization announced in 2022 that it would use a mobile unit to reach more people in need and expand outside of Montgomery County.

Kaitlyn Tyler, talent and education coordinator with the Greater Springfield Partnership (GSP), said that any Clark County student aged 16 or older is eligible to apply for the GSP’s internship program until March 22. Anyone who is accepted into the program would then be eligible for assistance from Clothes That Work.

“They are working on getting as many students as possible, so training day, they’re coming and bringing the mobile unit and then also setting up a pop-up inside the Brinkman (Center),” Tyler said. “So we’ll filter as many students through that day as possible, and then we may have to bring them back for a second set-up.”

Tyler said last year, GSP had 48 students in its Magnify program, and it expects a similar number this year. She said GSP and Clothes That Work are ironing out the full details.

Tyler said the program will allow students to earn money while gaining career experience earlier. She said it also helps local companies grow their workforce; if a student who is around 17 or 18 finishes up an internship that is a good fit, they could then be immediately hired as a permanent employee.

“We’re not asking students to volunteer their time during the summer; they’re all paid opportunities with local companies,” Tyler said.

Once applications are approved for the internship program, students receive job readiness training and go to internship interviews. They work at companies during the summer.
Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development at GSP, said at a county commission meeting last week the training day is immersive and not only teaches students how to talk to their employers, but employers how to speak with the students as well.

GSP hopes to extend the partnership beyond this cycle of internships, but the ability to do so will depend on securing adequate funding, Tyler said.

Tyler said the GSP has also connected Clothes That Work with Clark County’s Ohio Means Jobs office. Anyone seeking work attire assistance can contact the county office.
According to the GSP, in Clark County there are more than 10,000 jobs in healthcare and social services, more than 7,000 jobs in retail, more than 5,000 in manufacturing and more than 5,000 in accommodation and food services.

To apply, students should fill out an application with GSP, which includes two to three references and a resume. Tyler said resumes will be perfected at the day of training.
Businesses that are interested in being part of the internship program can contact the GSP, Tyler said.

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