Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program (VIAP) helps prepare the next generation of clean energy workers by funding internships for high school students at Massachusetts clean energy and water innovation companies.

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2019-2020 VIAP SESSION IS NOW OPEN. 

To participate in the program, students must be a current student at a school that has Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs. Student information must be entered into the database by co-op coordinators. Clean energy companies interested in hiring a vocational intern through this program should visit the Clean Energy Internship Program employer website.

 

Enrollment for the 2019-2020 session of the MassCEC Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program is currently OPEN.

Returning co-op coordinators can access their co-op coordinator profiles using their existing login credentials. If you are a new co-op coordinator, please follow the instructions below:

Participation Steps

Step 1: Co-op coordinators will submit an application online on behalf of each student. Complete the online application, answering all required questions and uploading required documentation. Once the application is submitted, co-op coodinators will then be visible in the student database and employers will be able to contact them. You must have a profile on this database for employers to confirm your students' eligibility with MassCEC for the Program.

Step 2: Respond to any employer communications you receive and reach out to clean energy employers that your students are interested in working for.

  1. A map of clean energy employers that have previously participated in our program can be found on the http://www.masscec.com/internmap page to help in your outreach to companies.
  2. If an employer is interested a student of yours, they will send the student's name to MassCEC for an eligibility check.
  3. If your student is eligible, the employer may contact the student's co-op coordinator to set up a phone or in-person interview with the student.
  4. MassCEC will reach out to the co-op coordinator if we need any additional information from the student before the employer brings them on for an internship. Students should respond to any communication from their co-op coordinator promptly so that we can confirm their eligibility for their potential employer.

Step 3: If a student is confirmed as eligible and the employer wishes to take them on for the session, they will send an offer letter to the student, the co-op coordinator, and the student's legal guardians (if applicable) to sign. The offer letter must include the student's name, expected date range to be worked, and wage/hour. The student must return their signed offer letter to their employer, who will then submit it to MassCEC no later than the session deadline of October 1, 2019. MassCEC will not approve placement of any interns past this date.

  1. Only after the student's signed offer letter has been received by MassCEC will we be able to officially reserve the employer's funding for the session.
  2. Please ensure information on the offer letter is accurate and that the student is not being asked to sign a non-compete agreement (Question #11).

Step 4: Students, enjoy your Internship!

Encourage students to take advantage of this opportunity by learning valuable skills on the job and by networking with others in the industry.

Step 5: Provide feedback

MassCEC will provide students with a link to the student survey before the conclusion of the session. Students should fill out the form, as it greatly assists in administering this program and making it as useful to students and co-op coordinators as possible. The information submitted on this survey is anonymous, and we do not ask for any identifying information.

VOCATIONAL INTERNSHIP AND APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Funding is allocated on a first-come first-served basis to employers that register, perform eligibility checks, and submit all required materials to MassCEC. Funding will be allocated until it is exhausted, or the submission deadline is met. MassCEC is not able to place interns once the available funding is fully reserved or after the submission deadline. Please take note of the important Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program (“Program”) dates below.
  • Interns are not allowed to sign non-compete agreements (see Question #11) with their Host Employers.
  • We have found that the most proactive students are the ones that get placed into internships with clean energy employers. You may identify registered employers through the list included on your profile, or reach out to previously participating employers such as those found here.

IMPORTANT VOCATIONAL INTERNSHIP AND APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM DATES

May 2, 2019

Open enrollment and intern selection begins

September 1, 2019

2019 – 2020 session start date

October 1, 2019

Deadline for employers to send signed offer letter submissions to MassCEC. Funding is allocated on a first-come first-served basis until funding is fully allocated or we have passed this date. We will not provide funding for offer letters submitted after this date.

May 15, 2020

2019 - 2020 session end date

PROSPECTIVE INTERN FAQS

1. What is the Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational and Apprenticeship Internship Program?

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program is a workforce development initiative offered through MassCEC. The program focuses on enhancing the talent pipeline for Massachusetts employers engaged in the clean energy industry. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program facilitates the placement of vocational school students who are eligible for Coop and 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 Program is designed to provide students and employers with the tools to connect, and MassCEC reimburses eligible employers for intern stipends.

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

The objectives of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship 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 are required to work with their coop coordinator to complete an online application that includes a resume, certifications, and work preferences. The Coop Coordinator should fill out the form with the student to ensure the information provided is accurate. Students are asked to identify their academic background and the industry subsector in which they would prefer to intern. Employers looking to host interns review these applications and select candidates with the qualifications that are most suited to their needs. Internships are required to take place over a session on a part-time basis. Host Employers must provide a meaningful internship opportunity and a mentor for each intern. Upon completion of the internship, eligible employers will request a reimbursement from MassCEC for the stipend paid to the intern.

4. When will the Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program begin accepting intern applications for the next session and how do prospective interns apply?  

The Program will begin accepting intern applications through its website, or via co-op coordinators, on May 2, 2019. Applications must include (in PDF format) an uploaded resume. Direct link to the online application is here, select the ‘Co-op Coordinator’ role and create a profile. There is no formal deadline for applications, but students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to increase their chances of being matched with a Host Employer before the offer letter submission deadline. Once all internship positions have been filled, notice will be posted on the www.masscec.com/intern website indicating that funding is no longer available.

5. What are the eligibility requirements for prospective interns?

Students will be required to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Must be actively attending:
  1. A vocational or technical high school located in Massachusetts; or
  2. Be a member of a cohorted group of individuals approved for participation by MassCEC.

      2. Must meet the following: 

  1. Be a rising senior and in good standing; and
  2. Be approved to participate in a co-op by their school’s administration.
  3. Underclassmen are able to participate if it is consistent with their school’s existing co-op structure.

Certain individuals are not eligible to participate in the Program:

  1. Students who are not in good standing or with their school.
  2. Current full or part-time employees of the potential host employer at the time of the eligibility check.
  3. Any full-time employee or existing intern that has been on payroll for greater than 12 weeks at a Host Employer.
  4. Family members of employers or owners of the host employer.

6. How do I increase my chances of being selected for an internship?

While it is ultimately up to the employer to decide on who they would like to work with them in a given session, employer feedback has indicated that proactive and detail-oriented students overwhelmingly end up being the ones to receive internships through this program. It is suggested that you:

  • Ensure all your submitted information in your application is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Respond quickly to any communication received from interested employers, your co-op coordinator, or MassCEC staff.
  • Learn more about the program and use the resources available to you on www.masscec.com/intern.
  • Reach out to clean energy employers in your area to let them know about the internship program and also express your interest in interning for them over a session.

7. Will prospective interns know which employers are reviewing their applications?

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program is set up, so employers can review the database and hand-select the students that they would like to interview. MassCEC is not involved with selecting interns for employers. This means that you will receive communication about your application only from an employer when an employer selects you for an interview. You will only receive communication from MassCEC in the event that further documentation is required in order to confirm your eligibility for participation in this program.

8. How many interns will be selected?

The final number of interns will be determined by successful matches between the Host Employers and applicants. MassCEC is able to support stipends for 50 interns at Host Employers for this session. Stipend subsidies for employers from MassCEC are available on a first-come, first-served basis until MassCEC has committed the funds allocated to the program. After total allocation of funds, employers may still access the database of candidates and offer paid or unpaid internships at the employer’s discretion.

9. What paperwork is required for a student to participate?

Students must provide all necessary documentation and meet all requirements as set out by their school in order to participate in this program via the school’s co-op program. Employers may require further documentation.

10. What is the intern stipend and how will interns be paid?

Interns will be hired and paid directly by the Host Employer. The pay rate should be established prior to accepting the internship offer. Employers are expected to pay their interns on a schedule that was previously explained and agreed to by the intern.  Please be aware that Host Employers may pay a/n intern(s) more than the subsidy rate, however, MassCEC will only reimburse up to the full award amount.  Employers are not allowed to pay an intern less than twelve dollars ($12.00) per hour. Please be sure you are aware and agree to the terms of the internship before starting any work.

11. My employer wants me to sign a non-compete agreement. What should I do?

It is MassCEC policy that no intern participating in the Internship Program is allowed to sign a non-compete agreement. Signing a non-compete agreement may compromise your ability to work in this industry after completion of your internship. Any employer that asks you to sign a non-compete agreement should be reported to MassCEC by emailing internships@masscec.com.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to email the Workforce Development team at internships@masscec.com. Someone will respond to your question as quickly as possible.

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 or part-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 college interns during fall, spring and summer sessions. The 2017 MassCEC Industry Report identified significant hiring difficulty among employers seeking to fill technical jobs. In response, MassCEC developed the Vocational Internship and Apprenticeship Program as a pilot program in 2018 with Worcester Tech, Holyoke High School (Dean Campus), Minuteman Regional, & Northeast Metro Tech. 2019 is the first year the program has been rolled out to all Vocational Schools in MA.

 

Key Goals:

Training and workforce development: Provide Massachusetts clean energy businesses with a skilled pool of young technical 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 2018, the program allocated $3.75 million in wage reimbursements for 668 student interns at 231 companies. Since its launch in 2011, the program has allocated $13.8 million to place 3,026 interns at 419 companies, and over 550 interns have received full or part-time jobs at their host companies as a result of their internship.