Cabrillo College, with an enrollment of 12,000, offers a work experience program where 150 students a semester can earn credit for what they learn working at a paying job, but there isn’t a central place to look for internships, according to program coordinator Matt Weis.
“There’s too many places to apply,” said Robert Singleton, a UCSC alum and co-founder ofCivinomics, who has been on both sides of the internship equation.
To solve this problem, UCSC and Cabrillo are joining forces with the Santa Cruz County Business Council, for which Singleton is an analyst, and the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, co-chaired by angel investor Bud Colligan, on a technology solution: A website that can be a one-stop shop for internships in the Monterey Bay area.
Community Foundation Santa Cruz County invested $30,000 in seed money to build the online platform.
“If everyone has the same idea, it must be worth doing,” said foundation chief Lance Linares, who saw firsthand the benefit of internships for his daughter and his son.
Partners in the project reported their progress Wednesday at the foundation, announcing beta testing in November with plans for a January launch.
Iversen Design, led by UCSC alum Jordan Iversen and based at CruzioWorks in Santa Cruz, is designing the website.
Local businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and campus entities will be able to list paid and unpaid internships at no charge.
The site, free to students, will allow for map-aided searches by location or industry, uploading resumes and a rating system for both interns and employers.
Colligan, who heard about the internship portal from UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, said it fit with his organization’s priorities of building a tech ecosystem and developing the local workforce. He made the case to include Monterey and San Benito counties.
“Having more companies participating and more students, you’ll have a stronger product,” he said.
About 65 percent of college students participate in internships and more than 50 percent leverage that opportunity into a job, according to Barbara Silverthorne, director of UCSC’s Career Center.
Carly Montan and Andre Arabe, senior biology majors at UCSC, applauded the internship initiative.
Montan, from Manhattan Beach, said she was fortunate to land an internship through networking.
“You have to be there a while before you find a connection,” said Arabe, who is from Union City and must complete an internship to graduate.
Monterey Bay internship portal
What: New mobile-friendly website to connect college students in Monterey Bay area with internships at local businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and campus entities.
Partners: Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Cabrillo College, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Business Council, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership.
Designer: Iversen Design of Santa Cruz.
Time Line: Beta testing in November, launch in January.
Details: Contact Lance Linares, email@example.com.