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.

The Fall 2021 Session is CLOSED to enrollment.

Watch Overview of Application Process. 

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. 

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 eligibility 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. 

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

Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program Host Employer FAQs

2021 Fall Session: September 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

 

Note: this document is intended to provide general guidance and information regarding MassCEC’s Clean Energy Internship Program (the “Program”). For detailed information regarding the operation and structure of the Program, please see the Terms and Conditions applicable to employers here.

*Alert: Program changes

Starting in Spring 2021 and continuing in Fall 2021, MassCEC will reserve thirty (30) spots for: (i) companies with an office located in a Gateway City[1]; and/or (ii) students who live in Gateway Cities. The remaining sixty (60) spots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to students and employers that register, perform eligibility checks, and submit all completed materials to MassCEC until program funds are exhausted or the submission deadline has passed.

MassCEC will not place additional interns once the available funding is fully reserved. Be sure to make yourself aware of the important program deadlines, found below.

  1. If a student is in the database, it does not necessarily mean that they are eligible to participate in the Program (see Question #11). Eligibility checks are submitted through the database. Please request a check before making any official job offers to candidates. Question #10 provides details on student eligibility.
  2. All interns must be paid on a W-2 employee status to be eligible for reimbursement and you must notify MassCEC and submit a new W-9 if your address changes (see Question #18). You must be able to provide proof of wages/taxes paid with your reimbursement package submission in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary. All interns must be paid at least Fifteen Dollars per hour ($15/hr.); MassCEC will reimburse up to Sixteen Dollars per hour ($16/hr.)
  3. MassCEC endeavors to make the Program as inclusive and diverse as possible. The reservation of funding for students and employers located in Gateway Cities is intended to further support diverse populations who wish to participate in the clean technology sector. There are many eligible candidates listed in the student database from a variety of different backgrounds.

 

IMPORTANT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM DATES

 

July 15, 2021

Open enrollment and intern selection begin

September 15, 2021

Fall 2021 session start date

October 1, 2021

Deadline for signed offer letter submissions to MassCEC if funding has not been allocated before this date. We will not accept any offer letters past this date.

December 15, 2021

Fall 2021 session end date

January 15, 2022

Deadline for Fall 2021 session reimbursement packages. We will not accept any reimbursement packages past this date.

 

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM PARTICIPATION STEPS

 

  1. Register to participate by completing the online employer application as an Internship Sponsor.
    1. Approved employers are eligible to participate in the Program for a full year from the date of their application.

 

  1. Access the student database to review candidates, or have external candidates submit their student applications, which can also be found on the https://www.masscec.com/user page. All candidates must be present in the student database.
    1. Select candidates from the student database by selecting the ‘Request’ option next to their name for the required eligibility check. Please make yourself aware of the student eligibility criteria before selecting candidates (see Question #10).
    2. MassCEC will respond to let you know if the student is eligible.

 

  1. If the student is confirmed as eligible, have the student sign an offer letter for the upcoming session. The offer letter should at least state the student’s name, expected date range to be worked, and wage/hour. You must submit your signed offer letters no later than the session deadline of October 1, 2021. MassCEC will not place any additional interns past this date.
    1. Once you receive the signed offer letter back from the student you must countersign it and send it to internships@masscec.com before the submission deadline.
    2. When MassCEC has received the fully countersigned offer letter for an eligible candidate, and all previous requirements in steps #1 and #2 have been met, we will reserve funding for that intern for the session, provided that funding is still available. We are not able to reserve your funding before we receive this signed document.
    3. MassCEC may communicate to you at its discretion that your interns are approved to start working for you while your award letter is being drafted.

 

  1. Sign and return your Award Letter
    1. When you receive your award letter, sign the document, and return it to internships@masscec.com as soon as possible. This serves as your official agreement with MassCEC for the session. We will not provide reimbursement for interns without it.

 

  1. Submit your Reimbursement Package. You must submit your fully completed reimbursement packages before the session deadline of January 15, 2022. We will not provide any reimbursements for packages submitted past this date. 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.
    1. MassCEC will provide you with reimbursement materials and instructions. Please fill these materials out and send back to MassCEC. Only send one (1) reimbursement package for all interns.
    2. For MassCEC to reimburse you, we will need:
      1. Your Award Letter, countersigned, and returned to us (step #4 above);
      2. MassCEC reimbursement sheet filled out for each intern;
      3. Backup documentation in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary showing year-to-date wages and applicable taxes paid for each intern;
      4. Mandatory survey (link found in reimbursement instructions) completed; and
      5. An up to date W-9 form.

 

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FAQS

 

1. What is the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program?

The Program is a workforce development initiative that facilitates the placement of students and recent graduates into paid internships with clean energy companies across the state. MassCEC will reimburse eligible employers for intern wages.

 

2. How does the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program work?

Students seeking an internship will complete an online application including their resume, academic background, and preferred industry subsector. Employers will review these applications and select candidates to interview and hire. Internships are full or part-time during the twelve (12) week session. There are three (3) sessions per year. Employers will provide a meaningful internship opportunity and mentorship opportunities for each intern. Upon completion of the internship, employers will request reimbursement from MassCEC for the wages paid to the intern(s).

 

3. How does an employer register to participate?

Potential Host Employers should send a signed W-9 to finance@masscec.com and fill out the electronic application posted at https://www.masscec.com/user. Note you will need to create a profile on our website AND fill out the program application form (includes uploading a job description).

 

4. 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 the 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.” MassCEC in its sole discretion makes the determination of whether an employer is a clean energy employer.
  • 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 General Terms and Conditions).
  • 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 physical presence in Massachusetts.
  • Not be an academic or government entity.
  • Be in good standing with MassCEC. 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.

 

5. Does MassCEC offer priority funding for certain subsectors?

MassCEC offers funding carve outs for the following subsectors:

  • Fall 2021: Thirty (30) reserved spots for students living in Gateway Cities and/or employers with an office in a Gateway City.
  • The reserved funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until the reserved spots are filled. Employers are still required to meet the other criteria listed above.
  • Once the reserved funding is fully allocated, the remaining funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If the reserved funding is not fully allocated by August 31, 2021, then the remaining funding will be allocated to waitlisted employers.

 

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

Government and academic institutions cannot receive funding from MassCEC. However, they may use the database to identify potential interns. Contact internships@masscec.com for details.

 

7. How many interns may an organization employ?

Host Employers are allowed to select up to three (3) interns if one (1) of the three (3) interns attend a community college. Two (2) interns are permitted if neither attends a community college. Each intern must be approved individually. Funding for one (1) intern does not entitle you to funding for a second or third.

 

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 three (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 (1) 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 the primary participating Host Employer.

 

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

An intern will be subsidized for one (1) session of work in one (1) calendar year. An intern may stay on after the conclusion of a session but will not continue to be subsidized by MassCEC.

 

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

 MassCEC will only provide reimbursement if the intern is hired in a different calendar year, and not a subsequent session. For example, an employer may take on the same individual once per year in the same session (i.e., Summer 2020 and Summer 2021) OR twice per year in nonconsecutive sessions (i.e., Spring 2021 and Fall 2021). 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 five (5) hours/week on average.

 

Current or very recent employees are not eligible to participate with you as an intern under the Program unless they have been working for the Host Employer less than six (6) weeks leading up to the session start date.

 

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

2. Must meet one (1) 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 calendar year;
  2. If a student attends or attended a community college (or 2‐year associate program) the student must have completed at least twenty-four (24) credits;
  3. If a student has attended a training program, that program must have a certificate of completion date within the last year; or
  4. Graduate students must be current students or have completed their program within the last calendar year.

3. All replacement interns must be approved by MassCEC.                                                        

 

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.
  2. Full or part-time employees, both those who have received compensation as well as volunteers, are not eligible to participate in the Program at their current employers.
  3. Any full-time employee or existing intern that has been on payroll for greater than twelve (12) weeks at a Host Employer or has been continuously working at the Host Employer since their last participating session.

 

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 does not provide an eligibility check on interns before the check 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 October 1, 2021.

 

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

Host Employers will be required to accept the General Terms and Conditions of the Program when applying. Host employers must also acknowledge the Award Letter with MassCEC. 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 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.

 

14. 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?

 

Host Employers are not permitted to require or request that an intern sign a non-compete agreement. Host Employers are permitted to use non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement to protect any sensitive information.

 

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

If a hired intern terminates employment during the internship, the Host Employer has until three (3) weeks after the start date referenced in the initial offer letter to hire a new intern. After the three-week window has passed, the Host Employer’s funding will be awarded to a company on the waitlist. New interns must be approved by MassCEC.

 

16. How much can I pay my intern?

The minimum wage for the Program is $15/hr. and MassCEC will reimburse up to $16/hr. MassCEC will only reimburse a Host Employer up to the cap of $3,840/intern in the fall or spring sessions and $7,680/intern in the summer session. Failure to pay an intern $15/hr. will result in your company being banned from the Program.

 

17. 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 resource 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:

 

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.



[1] For purposes of this FAQ, “Gateway Cities” are the following twenty-six (26) cities located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Attleboro; Barnstable; Brockton; Chelsea; Chicopee; Everett; Fall River; Fitchburg; Haverhill; Holyoke; Lawrence; Leominster; Lowell; Lynn; Malden; Methuen; New Bedford; Peabody; Pittsfield; Quincy; Revere; Salem; Springfield; Taunton; Westfield; and Worcester.

 

Since its inception in 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program has placed thousands of students and recent graduates at clean energy companies across the Commonwealth, with hundreds 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.

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:

Since its launch in 2011, the program has placed over 3,600 interns at nearly 470 unique companies, with 800 interns receiving full or part-time jobs at their host companies as a result of their internship.