Durham County Delivers Technical Opportunities to Interns
By Christopher Whittle
Education and experience requirements in today’s job market are increasingly competitive. The demand for highly educated and well trained workers does not spare Durham, NC. To provide hands on “real world” experiences, Durham County interns the talented youth living in Durham County.
Through a partnership, the City of Durham, Durham County, Durham Public Schools, the Durham Workforce Development Board, and the Raleigh-Durham Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Council operate the Durham YouthWork Internship Program. This program offers Durham youth between the ages of 14 and 24 a chance to network and develop skills in many different work experiences. Each year, recruiting begins the 2nd week of February through an application process. Qualified students are then referred and placed in City or County Government departments.
The relationships built between the IS&T staff and the youth are as equally important as the finished products. One IS&T intern, Steriling Mason, has returned almost every year since 2012. Mason, now a junior at North Carolina A&T University, was a 2014 graduate of C.E. Jordan High School. He has seen the majority of the IS&T YouthWork Intern projects through completion. Mason is considered part of our IS&T family and every summer his return is anticipated.The Durham County Information Services & Technology is proud to be one of these departments. Since 2012, numerous applications and websites have been developed by our interns. Every initiative completed by the interns is in production today.
My experience here at Durham County has been phenomenal! I have gained many skills over the years with the County such as software development, professionalism, and general working practices. The experience I’ve gained, has given me the advantage for opportunities I previously did not have. I encourage any high school or college student in Durham to take advantage of this program. It’s a chance to experience the workforce, government, and get a grasp early on of what you might be interested in, especially as a high school student.
Steriling Mason, Durham YouthWork Intern
This summer, in addition to Mason, DCo IS&T has been lucky to host Juan Cervantes, Deondre Williams, and outside of the YouthWork program, volunteer Vafee Kelleh.
Their work began by producing the Youth Connect Durham website which launches later this month. The site will contain activities around Durham which may attract kids of all ages. Calendar updates will be linked by various Durham organizations in real time.
Under the tutelage of IS&T Senior Systems Applications Analyst, Mickey Mazarick, the highlight of this year’s summer program is the Durham Social Services mobile application. Being the first social services application in North Carolina, it allows applicants of DSS benefits the ability to submit documentation while saving time and extra visits to the Durham County Health and Human Services building. Clients can access the application through a web browser or from the Google Play store. Availability is coming soon to the Apple App Store.
To learn how you or a child you know can take advantage of this program please visit: durhamnc.gov/598/YouthWork-Internship-Program.