Wilkes-Barre Connect, the entrepreneurial and economic development arm of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, successfully completed a 2019 summer pilot marketing internship program from a grant received by the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Development Board and administered through the Pennsylvania CareerLink ®. The SLIP internship program was made possible through funding from the PA Department of Labor & Industry.
This summer program gave two local students valuable internship experience working directly with four local startups, which enabled them to start their own careers locally. Timothy Ooms, a Master’s in Business Administration student at Wilkes University and Camaryn Lokuta, a Management and Marketing Major at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, spent eight weeks of their summer building websites, developing PR strategies, designing graphics, and teaching small businesses the fundamentals of marketing. At the end of their program, they were both hired by local companies.
Tim Ooms says of his experience: “Stepping out of my comfort with my background in accounting, to assist in providing basic marketing strategies, and even building a new website for our client C & G Tutoring was very rewarding. It was an awesome experience to work with local professionals and small businesses, providing services that will help all four companies in the future.”
The Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Development Board, Executive Director, Patricia Lenahan was eager to support Wilkes-Barre Connect by offering two interns paid work experience in their field of study. The SLIP program was a huge success in the workforce area, which reimbursed 47 local businesses the wages of approximately 90 interns offering paid workforce experience. Lenahan stated, “The SLIP program was a great opportunity for young adults by helping them network with professionals in their career choice where they gained valuable, hands-on work experience. Hiring interns not only helps students in the community get a head start to possible employment but also helps local businesses with their workforce needs.”
As part of the students’ internship curriculum with Wilkes-Barre Connect, two local marketing firms, Coal Creative and Socialocca, met with the intern group throughout the summer to provide valuable insights and guidance for this project. Throughout the course of the summer, the internship team was able to assist small businesses including C & G Tutoring, Dog Mom Cookies LLC, Pour Coffee House, and Dream Vacations.
Genelle Sedon, Director of C & G Tutoring, comments on the experience: “Working with the Wilkes-Barre Connect interns this summer was such an extremely professional and personal experience. They had 21st century ideas that helped elevate C & G Tutoring to the next level. I was extremely pleased with how the website turned out.”
Learn more about Wilkes-Barre Connect at https://wilkesbarreconnect.org/.
Learn more about the PA CareerLink ® at www.pacareerlink.pa.gov.