Vocational Internship Program for Employers

The Massachusetts Vocational Internship Program (VIP) is a workforce development initiative offered through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The Program enhances the talent pipeline for Massachusetts clean energy companies and places skilled labor from vocational high schools in paid clean energy internships during the academic year. MassCEC reimburses wages paid to the intern(s) and it is the employer's responsibility to select eligible interns for their company.

 

Why should you host a Clean Energy Intern?
  • No cost employee for your business
  • Hire vocational school students with skills across many trades
  • Internships are reimbursed by MassCEC
 
Eligibility Requirements:
  • Be an eligible clean energy employer
  • Be registered to do business in Massachusetts
  • Provide adequate proof that your business can pay your intern(s) and all cost associated with employment before MassCEC reimbursement
  • Be in good standing with MassCEC
 
Schools will have specific requirements that employers must meet, which may include, but are not limited to:
  • Workers' compensation
  • Background checks
  • General internship structure

 

Vocational Internship Program (VIP) Hiring Process

  1. Register to participate by completing the online employer application.

    1. Once you have submitted your application and have been approved, you will receive an email with login instructions for the student database. All approved employers are eligible to participate in the program for a full year from the date of their application (Question #5).

  2. Access the student database to review candidates, or have external candidates submit their student applications, which can also be found on the Internship Sponsor Dashboard 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 #11).

    2. MassCEC will respond to let you know whether or not the student is eligible.

  3. If the student is confirmed as eligible, have them sign an offer letter for the upcoming session along with their co-op coordinator. The offer letter should at minimum state their name, expected date range to be worked, and wage/hour.

    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 your fully countersigned offer letter for your eligible candidate, and all previous requirements in steps #1 and #2 have been met, we will reserve funding for that intern for the session providing 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Submit your Reimbursement Package. You must submit your fully completed reimbursement packages before the session deadline of July 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. In order 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. Mandatory survey (link found in reimbursement instructions) completed

      4. Signed expenditure certification form

 

Stipend

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 is mutually agreed upon by student, Co-Op coordinator,and employer. Stipend subsidies for employers from MassCEC are available on a first-come, first-serve 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. Employers may pay an intern(s) more than the subsidy rate. MassCEC will reimburse up to the full award amount ($7,680 per intern). Employers are not allowed to pay intern less than minimum wage per hour or have an intern sign a non-compete agreement. Students, Co-Op coordinators, and employers should be aware of and agree to the terms of the internship before starting any work.

For full program details and FAQ click here.