From staff reports
Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) is adding two positions to its paid high school intern program, beginning in January 2022.
In addition to fielding applicants for Field Operations and Customer Service, the Authority will add two additional internships for Water or Wastewater Operations, for a total of six prospective new employees. These interns will be paid $15.00/hour. For information on applying to the program, go to www.bjwsa.org/intern-program.
The program was developed in cooperation with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) offices for both Beaufort and Jasper County school districts. More than 60 students attended two open houses in March 2020.
BJWSA staff interviewed the candidates, and last January selected four students, two from each county, to participate in the 15-week program. Two recruits were placed in field operations, and the other two in customer service. Training began immediately after orientation, with guidelines for supervisors to set expectations and metrics for achievement.
The program met the needs of the emerging workforce as well as BJWSA, with three of the four being hired. Linking student achievements to real world outcomes gives students opportunities to practice skills in real-world scenarios, helps them develop soft skills, allows them to observe professionals in action and network with potential employers. Hiring qualified, trained employees saves time and resources for the Authority.
Part of the local and state mission for CTE is to encourage students to be career-ready through vocation pathways that help students learn technical and employability skills and earn industry credentials.
Linda Tillery, chief of customer care, sums up the benefits for both BJWSA and students: “I think that the internship program is wonderful and provides a win-win for all parties. Those students who are not heading off to college have an opportunity to begin a career with a great company that provides stable benefits and pay. BJWSA gets employees that are junior, motivated with fresh perspectives and a potential ‘pipeline’ for the future.”
For more information about BJWSA, visit www.bjwsa.org.