The Challenge: Build Pipeline of Skilled Technical Workers
Clean energy and water innovation employers need a talented pool of young workers with technical backgrounds and hands-on skills.
About the Vocational Internship Program (VIP)
The Vocational Internship Program (VIP) enhances the talent pipeline for Massachusetts clean energy companies by placing skilled students from vocational high schools in paid clean energy internships during the academic year. Employers select eligible interns for their companies, and MassCEC reimburses wages paid to the interns. Employers also have access to co-op coordinators who can assist with recruiting interns.
VIP enables clean energy employers to mentor students across a broad spectrum of backgrounds and addresses the need for greater diversity in our clean energy workforce. The program provides a peer network for students interested in the clean energy industry.
Jump to Online Workforce Portal
The Vocational Internship Program operates on an annual schedule tied to the academic year.
Funding is allocated on a first-come/first-served basis until it runs out.
Open enrollment and intern selection begins
August 30, 2022
Deadline to submit offer letters
2022 - 2023 session starts
September 1, 2022
2022 - 2023 session ends
June 30, 2023
Employers must be clean energy and water innovation companies registered to do business in Massachusetts, with at least one office located in the Commonwealth.
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.” Note that participating students must be rising seniors in good standing at a vocational or technical high school in Massachusetts or be members of a group approved for participation by MassCEC.
For full Program details, please refer to the VIP Program Manual Not an employer? Go to VIP Student Info
For full Program details, please refer to the VIP Program Manual
Not an employer? Go to VIP Student Info
Create an employer account in the MassCEC Workforce Portal here.
- Fill out the company submission.
- Await approval of your account from MassCEC.
- Access the student dashboard to review candidates and/or connect with Vocational High School Co-Op Coordinators in your area to identify candidates.
- If you know candidates who are not yet in the student database, ask them to submit intern applications here. Every candidate must have a profile on the internship portal to participate in the program.
Check candidate eligibility.
- On the Internship Portal’s student dashboard, click on “eligibility check” for the student(s) you'd like to hire.
- Send the student name(s) to email@example.com.
- Once MassCEC has confirmed eligibility, you will receive an automated email letting you know that the intern has been approved and prompting you to submit a signed offer letter.
Submit co-signed offer letter.
- Provide your selected student with an offer letter that, at a minimum, states their name, expected date range to be worked, and hourly wage.
- Obtain signatures on the offer letter from the student and their co-op coordinator.
- Submit the co-signed offer letter to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve funding. After funding has been reserved for the intern, you will receive an email confirmation.
Sign and return your award letter.
After completion of the internship, submit your Reimbursement Package to email@example.com. You must submit your fully completed reimbursement package before the session deadline of July 2023.
What are the eligibility requirements for organizations to participate in the program?
- 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.” 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 expenses associated with their 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 completed, including the mandatory final survey, which must have been received and approved by MassCEC.
How much may I pay my intern?
Host Employers may pay their intern(s) more than the subsidy rate ($15 per hour), however, MassCEC will only reimburse up to the full award amount. Host Employers may not pay an intern less than $15 per hour. Failure to pay the minimum amount may result in MassCEC denying a Host Employer’s reimbursement request. MassCEC will only reimburse a Host Employer up to its cap of $8,640 per intern.
How many interns may an organization employ?
Host Employers are allowed to select up to two interns.
Please note: Because funding for the Program is limited, awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, and you may receive fewer than two interns if funding is fully committed by the time we receive your offer letters for additional interns.
May I hire a relative?
Host Employers are not allowed to hire an intern who is the spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, niece, nephew, or spouse of a child, grandchild, sibling, niece, or nephew of ANY employee of the Host Employer.
May we hire an intern from a previous session and be eligible for MassCEC reimbursement?
No, an intern will not be able to participate with you through the Program if they have already done so. The Program is designed to enable high school seniors the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the clean energy sector. Once they complete their senior year, they are no longer eligible to participate.
NOTE: 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 weeks leading up to successful completion of their eligibility check.
My intern left mid-internship. May I hire someone else?
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. In order to hire a new student, the Host Employer must contact and work through a Co-op Coordinator.
Partner Schools and Programs
Use this map to explore programs near your company. Please note that only "Chapter 74" program students are approved to participate in MassCEC's Vocational Internship Program.