Local graduate, company benefit from state internship program

UPB Student Max Shanks, seated, works with Control Chief CFO and Managing Partner Tim Bean on network management. Shanks is serving as an Information Technology intern through the PA State/Local Internship Program.

Max Shanks is putting his classroom knowledge to use at a local company this summer, as a participant in the State/Local Internship Program (PA SLIP).

“I didn’t know about the opportunities here at Control Chief before, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do my internship right here in Bradford, without having to leave the area,” said Shanks.

Shanks is a 2016 Bradford High graduate, and entering his junior year at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, studying computer information systems & technology. Through the summer, he’s an information technology intern at Control Chief Corp., a Bradford based manufacturer of industrial remote controls.
The PA SLIP program, administered locally by Workforce Solutions for North Central PA Inc., provides opportunities for local students as young as 16 to work for local businesses and organizations. The interns are paid for an eight-week term, and then the company is reimbursed by a Pennsylvania grant. In some cases, as with Shanks, the student is eligible for college credit for the internship.
The goal of the PA SLIP program is to introduce young people to local opportunities, so that after post-secondary education, they may consider staying in the region to work.  
“These funds will help nearly 600 young adults develop the job skills needed to succeed in today’s 21st century economy through paid work experiences,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a news release earlier this year. “The State Local Internship Program provides for summer internships with local employers across Pennsylvania to give participants the real-world work experience and career-readiness skills they need to pursue future employment opportunities.”

Shanks contacted his advisor at the university about internship opportunities, and then interviewed for the IT internship with Control Chief. He started just a few days later, and very quickly started working with the IT staff on troubleshooting computers, managing network users, software support, updating the company website, and a number of other tech related tasks.
“This program has really helped me build experience, and relationships here in the area that I know will help me down the road,” said Shanks.

Control Chief has extended Shanks’ internship beyond the initial period for the rest of the summer.

“Through the Workforce Solutions Summer Internship, we were able to hire a young man who we otherwise would not have considered hiring due to funding limitations,” said Control Chief Managing Partner and CFO Tim Bean. “It did not take Max very long, with the skills he has obtained at UPB, to make a significant impact here at Control Chief. He has been able to support the existing IT staff and bring an innovative approach to problem solving. In fact, we have identified additional projects that he will be able to support and we will employ him beyond the funding limitations attached to the summer internship grant. He provides enough value that it is worth an additional investment of our own resources. I believe this definitely has been a win-win for both Max and for Control Chief Corporation.”

Workforce Development Solutions is administering $572,372 in grant money for PA SLIP throughout Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties.

“We are so excited to be able to offer this program to both our employers and our youth. We feel that this will help with an ongoing conversation throughout our region of trying to retain our young people. With a positive work experience, our youth will see the opportunities throughout our region,” stated Executive Director Susie Snelick.
Provided the grant is continued, The PA SLIP program will reopen in the Spring of 2019 for applications. For more information, visit the North Central Workforce Development Board website at  http://www.ncwb.org.
For more information on Control Chief, visit  http://www.controlchief.com

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