Clean Energy Internship Program

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program helps prepare the next generation of clean energy workers by funding internships for students and recent graduates at Massachusetts clean energy and water innovation companies.

Who's Eligible?

To participate in the program, employers must be clean energy or water innovation companies registered to do businesses in Massachusetts, with at least one office located in the Commonwealth. 

How Do I Apply?

Student enrollment and internship placements for the summer 2017 session of the MassCEC Internship Program is open. Thank you for your interest in this award-winning program! 

Approved employers can access the student database using their existing login credentials. If you are a new employer or need to renew your application, please follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Complete the online employer application. All approved employers are eligible to participate in the program for a full year from the date of their application submission. 

Step 2: Once your company has been approved for the program, you can access the student database to review candidates during a session’s enrollment window. Select candidates from the student database and submit their names to MassCEC for the required eligibilty check. MassCEC will respond to let you know whether or not the student is eligible to participate.

Step 3: If your candidates are eligible to participate, have them sign an offer letter. You must submit these signed offer letters to MassCEC no later than the session’s deadline in order to have your funding reserved. Funding is reserved on a first-come first-served basis until funding has been fully allocated or we have reached the submission offer letter submission deadline.

Step 4: Sign and return your award letter and submit your reimbursement package.

Important Documents

 

FAQ

1. What is the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program?

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program is a workforce development initiative offered through MassCEC which focuses on enhancing the talent pipeline for Massachusetts employers engaged in the clean energy industry. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program facilitates the placement of students and recent graduates who are considering career opportunities in clean energy through paid internships across the state.  Consistent with MassCEC’s role as a catalyst in growing the talent needed by the clean energy industry, the Internship Program is designed to provide students and employers with the tools to connect, and MassCEC will reimburse eligible employers for intern stipends.

2. What are the objectives of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program?

The objectives of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program are to:

  • Provide the clean energy community with a talented pool of  young professionals 
  • Enable students to gain significant career opportunities in a challenging economic environment 
  • Enable clean energy employers to mentor students and provide internship opportunities across a broad spectrum of student backgrounds
  • Support the need for greater diversity in our clean energy workforce 
  • Provide a peer network of  students interested in working in clean energy 

3. How does the program work?

Students looking for an internship in the clean energy industry will be required to complete an online application that includes a resume, transcript, and supporting eligibility documents (as discussed in the response to Question #10).  Students will identify their academic background and the industry subsector in which they would prefer to intern.  Representatives from employers looking to host interns review these applications and select candidates with the qualifications that are most suited to their needs.  Internships are full or part-time over a consecutive 12‐week period.  Employers will provide a meaningful internship opportunity and mentorship opportunities for each intern.  Upon completion of the internship, eligible employers will request a reimbursement from MassCEC for the stipend paid to the intern. Funding is reserved for clean energy employers to host interns on a first-come first-served basis until funding has been exhausted or the submission deadline is met.

4. How does an employer register to participate?

Potential Host Employers interested in hosting interns through this program should send a signed W-9 to finance@masscec.com and fill out the electronic Participating Host Employer Application posted at http://www.masscec.com/work-clean-energy/employer/internship-program.  Please see ‘Internship Program Participation Steps’ above.

Please note that your organization must be registered to do business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to participate in the program. For more information on this process, please contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Corporations Division.

5.  What are the eligibility requirements for organizations to participate in the program?  

Completing the Participating Host Employer Application Form does not guarantee or entitle your organization to receive internship funds.  In order for your organization to gain approval to participate, your organization must:

 

  • Be an eligible clean energy employer. For the purposes of this program, MassCEC defines a clean energy employer as “an employer engaged in whole or in part in goods and services, or advanced and applied technologies that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of energy from non-renewable sources, including, but not limited to:  energy efficiency; demand response; energy conservation and those technologies powered in whole or in part by the sun, wind, water, biomass, alcohol, wood, fuel cells, any renewable, non-depletable or recyclable fuel.”
  • Be registered to do business in Massachusetts. If you are unsure if your business is registered to do business in Massachusetts, please consult the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Corporate Database at the Commonwealth’s Corporations Division.
  • Provide a meaningful internship (as defined in the Agreement).
  • Provide adequate proof that your organization is able to pay your intern(s) and all associated costs associated with employment.
  • Successfully demonstrate that your organization has a formal office in Massachusetts.
  • Not be an academic or government entity.
  • Be in good standing. The Host Employer must have submitted all paperwork relating to any prior internship complete including the mandatory final survey, which has been received and approved by MassCEC.

 

Once you receive approval from MassCEC to participate as a Host Employer in the program, in order for your organization to gain approval for funding, your organization must complete the following tasks (see ‘Internship Program Participation Steps’ for additional detail):

 

  1. Select your intern(s) from the internship database;

 

  1. Confirm intern(s) meet the eligibility requirements. Please request eligibility checks from MassCEC before extending any offers to potential interns; and

 

  1. Submit to MassCEC an executed offer letter signed by both the Host Employer and selected intern(s).  We recommend that the offer letter issued by the Host Employer clearly state that funding for the internship is contingent on funds provided by MassCEC.  Once the final offer letter is sent to MassCEC, it will be reviewed for approval.  If approved, MassCEC will issue an award letter to secure funding for your organization.  Until this award letter is co-executed by the Host Employer and the previous two steps have been completed, your organization will not be entitled to any funds. MassCEC may at its discretion give conditional approval for an intern to work at a Host Employer once a signed offer letter is received and your award letter is drafted.  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in Host Employer's disqualification from the program.

6. Can Government or Academic Institutions Apply to the Internship Program?

Government and academic institutions seeking interns for work that fits the above definition may use the applicant database and hire interns; however MassCEC will not subsidize these interns.

7. How many interns may an organization employ?

Host Employers are allowed to select up to three interns if one of the three interns attends a community college. Two interns are permitted if neither attends a community college. Please note, because funding for this program is limited, awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, and you may receive fewer than three interns if funding is fully committed by the time we receive your offer letters for additional interns.

There is also a restriction on Related Party Organizations as defined below. If your organization owns other eligible organizations, or if your organization is owned by another, you are only allowed a maximum of 3 subsidized interns for ALL Related Party Organizations.

Related Party Organizations are defined as organizations having common ownership and/or management personnel (including but not limited to the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, or Chief Operating Officer).  Related Party Organizations are also considered to be related if at any time one organization has the ability to Control (as defined below) the other organization or exercise influence over the other organization in making financial and/or operating decisions. Control is defined as:

  1. ownership, directly or indirectly, of more than one half of the voting power of an organization, or
  2. control of the composition of the board of directors, or other governing body of accompany organization, or
  3. a substantial interest in voting power and the power to direct the financial and/or operating policies of the organization.

Please be aware that MassCEC will not accept any documents submitted by any entity that is not of the primary participating Host Employer.

 

8.  How long can an intern stay at my organization?

An intern will be subsidized for 12 consecutive weeks of work in one calendar year. An intern may stay on after those 12 weeks, but will not continue to be subsidized by MassCEC. There are restrictions on whether or not you may take on the same intern in more than one session through this program (see Question #9).

9. Can we hire an intern from a previous session and be eligible for MassCEC reimbursement?

Yes, an intern can be hired again but MassCEC will only provide reimbursement if the intern is hired in a different calendar year, and not a subsequent session (i.e., Fall to Spring).  Only in those circumstances may an intern reapply to the program and once again be subsidized at the same Host Employer. For example, an employer may take on the same individual once per year in the same session (i.e., Summer). Additionally, an individual will not be eligible to participate at the same Host Employer if they continue to work or volunteer for you in between sessions in an amount greater than 5 hours/week on average.

 

NOTE: Current or very recent employees are not eligible to participate with you as an intern under this program unless they have been working for the Host Employer less than 12  weeks leading up to the session start date. This program is designed to enable many different individuals to participate in gaining clean energy work experience at Host Employers, and is not designed to provide continuous support to full or part-time employees at a host company across multiple sessions. Please see Question #8 for details.

10. What are the eligibility requirements for prospective interns?

Students will be required to meet the following eligibility requirements:

 

  1. Must attend, or have attended:
  1. A college or university located in Massachusetts, or

 

  1. A college or university outside of Massachusetts, only if the student is a Massachusetts resident and is able to present proof of residency; and 

 

  1. Eligible students must meet one of the following: 
  1. Students must have completed or will complete at least their freshman year of college (24 credits) the semester before the internship, or have graduated within the past year. Therefore, the students’ year of graduation must be 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020.

 

  1. If a student attends or attended a community college (or 2‐year associate program) the student must have completed at least 24 credits by December 31, 2016. If a student has attended a training program, that program must have a certificate of completion date between December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2018

 

  1. Graduate students must have completed or will complete a Master's Degree program in 2016 or later.

 

  1. Any replacement intern must be approved by MassCEC (see Question #16).                                                              

 

Certain individuals are not eligible to participate in the program:

 

  1. Law School students, Ph. D. candidates, or students who have been previously enrolled or matriculated in a Ph.D. program, are not eligible to participate in the program.

 

  1. Full or part-time employees, both those who have received compensation as well as volunteers, are not eligible to participate in this program at their current employers.

 

  1. Any full time employee or existing intern that has been on payroll for greater than 12 weeks at a Host Employer or has been continuously working at the Host Employer since their last participating session. Please see Question #9 for exceptions to this provision.

 

11. I’ve selected my student intern(s).  Why do you need to conduct an eligibility check? I thought since they are in the database you had already been in touch with them.

MassCEC is not able to provide an eligibility check on interns before it is specifically requested by a potential employer due to the large number of student applications we receive every session.

12. Is there a deadline for submitting signed offer letters to MassCEC?

All signed offer letters must be received by MassCEC no later than June 15th, 2017.

13. What is the process for reviewing student candidates?

Each Host Employer approved to participate will create a password that allows access to the database of student applications. The review of candidates for internships is done exclusively by the Host Employer and they will proceed to reach out directly to candidates with the qualifications that are most suited to their needs. It is highly recommended that Host Employers request an eligibility check from MassCEC prior to conducting interviews and is a requirement if the employer is interested in hiring an intern through this program.  MassCEC will provide final approval to extend an offer to the intern, contingent upon verification of the applicant’s eligibility and the availability of funds.

14. What are a Host Employer’s contractual obligations?

Host Employers will be required to accept the Internship General Terms and Conditions when applying to become a participating Host Employer and must also acknowledge the Award Letter with MassCEC that sets forth additional funding requirements. There is no explicit or implicit commitment on the part of any Host Employer to provide future employment for any intern. 

By participating in the Internship Program, the Host Employer and MassCEC do not form a partnership, employment relationship, joint venture, or principal and agent relationship.  At no time is any Intern deemed or otherwise considered to be an employee, intern, contractor, subcontractor or agent of MassCEC for any purpose.  The terms and conditions of the Internship shall be set by an intern and the Host Employer and MassCEC shall have no responsibility, liability or oversight authority whatsoever with respect to Intern or the Internship.  The Host Employer and its agents, employees and Interns may not hold themselves out as MassCEC employees and shall not be deemed an employee of MassCEC for any purpose.

15. The Cleantech Industry is really competitive.  I’d like to have my intern sign a non-compete agreement. Is there a policy for non-compete agreements?

The goal of this program is to increase opportunities for students entering the clean energy workforce and improve their prospects for future employment in the industry. A non-compete agreement goes against the spirit of the program and therefore at no point shall an intern sign a non-compete agreement. Any employer found executing a non-compete agreement with a subsidized intern will result in the inability to receive reimbursement through the Internship Program. It is instead suggested that an employer have an intern sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement to protect any sensitive information.

16. My intern left mid internship. Can I still hire someone?

Yes. If a hired intern terminates employment during the internship, MassCEC may at its discretion allow a Host Employer to hire an additional intern to take their place and use up the remaining funding allocated to their previous intern. Please be aware that any new student selected must first be approved as eligible by MassCEC and the Host Employer would then need to submit a signed offer letter for that individual before MassCEC could issue a final approval.

17. How much can I pay my intern?

Host Employers may pay their intern(s) more than the subsidy rate ($14/hr), however, MassCEC will only reimburse up to the full award amount.  Host Employers may not pay an intern less than $12.00 per hour. Failure to pay the minimum amount set by the Internship Program may result in MassCEC being unable to reimburse a Host Employer for the work carried out over the 12 week program.

18. How does an employer request reimbursement?

Upon completion of the internship(s), your organization must submit a Reimbursement Certification package. The reimbursement request must be supported with adequate proof that each intern was paid during the 12 consecutive weeks of the internship along with all applicable taxes. Proof of payment must include at least a year-to-date earnings report at the internship’s 12 week mark.  In order to help MassCEC process your invoice quickly, MassCEC strongly encourages you to submit the following documentation when seeking reimbursement:

 

  • Provide backup documentation of payment of wages to the intern and payment of any necessary taxes in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary relating to an intern’s worked hours over the consecutive 12 week period being sought for reimbursement. MassCEC reserves the right to request additional documentation from Host Employer to ensure compliance.
  • Show all hours the intern(s) worked throughout the 12 consecutive weeks of the program. MassCEC will provide you with the necessary forms to help you provide this information. If MassCEC is unable to match hours with year to date earnings, a delay in payment will occur while we procure this additional information from you.
  • 1099 employees are not eligible for reimbursement under this program. If an intern was paid as a 1099 employee, the employer must retroactively pay all taxes associated with being a W-2 employee. We must be able to verify proof of taxes paid on your backup documentation.
  • Please clearly outline how your backup documentation relates to your timesheet summary (include this in reimbursement forms) for a timely reimbursement.
  • The Reimbursement Certification package will be provided to the Host Employer in an email from MassCEC with their award letter. Completed Reimbursement Certification packages must be submitted to internships@masscec.com no later than September 30, 2017. MassCEC reserves the right to deny reimbursement funding for a Host Employer’s session if a complete reimbursement package is not received by the session’s reimbursement package submission deadline. 

 

Please Note: MassCEC will mail a reimbursement check to the Host Employer within 45 business days of receipt of the Reimbursement Certification form and all completed supporting documentation. If the Host Employer’s address changes, they must: 1) Send a notification letter of address change to internships@masscec.com; AND 2) Send an updated W-9 to the secure email address finance@masscec.com. Failure to properly notify MassCEC in the aforementioned manner may result in a delay in payment of reimbursement or inability to provide a reimbursement payment.

19. I’m a small organization and I don’t have a payroll system.  What should I do?

If you are a smaller-sized organization and need assistance with your payroll services, please review the list below.  Please note, without adequate proof of payment of the internship’s wages and taxes in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary, reimbursement will not be issued to your organization. MassCEC will not reimburse a Host Employer for the costs of using a payroll service. Below are some examples of payroll services that are acceptable:

 

20. How do you define a 12 week internship?

Each intern subsidized under the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program must complete their internship within 12 consecutive weeks after their first day. Any vacation taken during the internship will count toward the 12 consecutive weeks, so please make sure to speak with your interns about any vacation time they are planning on taking before extending any official offers.

 

Example:

 

If an intern is to start working on May 16, 2017, the last day of their internship as reimbursed by MassCEC would be no later than August 4, 2017. The Host Employer will only be eligible for reimbursement during the first 12 consecutive weeks of the internship. An intern would be able to stay at their Host Employer after this consecutive 12 week period end date, however, MassCEC would not be able to reimburse for any wages/taxes incurred after August 4th in this example. Interns may also stay on and work at their host companies past the session end date of August 31st, however, this time will also not be reimbursed by MassCEC.

 

Please do not hesitate to email the Workforce Development team at internships@masscec.com with any questions not covered in this FAQ. Someone will respond to you as quickly as possible.

Program Background

Since its inception in 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program has placed hundreds of students and recent graduates at clean energy companies across the Commonwealth, with dozens of those interns going on to receive full-time job opportunities at their host companies.

The program helps provide Massachusetts clean energy businesses with a talented pool of young professionals, with MassCEC providing stipends for interns during fall, spring and summer sessions.

To help connect students and participating clean energy companies, MassCEC has built a map of companies that have participated in previous rounds of the program, as well as area colleges, universities and community colleges.

Program Results

Key Goals:

Training and workforce development: Provide Massachusetts clean energy businesses with a skilled pool of young professionals and introduce clean energy career experiences to people entering the workforce, helping to retain talent within the Commonwealth.

Key Metrics and Results:

During fiscal year 2015, the program spent $1.5 million on wage reimbursements for 421 student interns at 167 companies. Since its launch in 2011, the program has spent $5 million to place 1,805 interns at 317 companies, and 247 interns have received full or part-time jobs at their host companies as a result of their internship.

Program Contact