FRAMINGHAM – This summer, 58 Framingham high school students have chosen to challenge themselves at jobs and internships.

Josh and JessStudents were matched with positions based on their career interests and skills. Patty Gorman, Career Specialist at PSW Youth Careers, has placed 45 students in summer jobs at 17 MetroWest businesses, ranging from camp counseling to environmental stewardship positions. Employers include Wellesley College, AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care, AutoMax Pre-Owned, and the Town of Framingham. Additionally, students gained experience at local hospitals, including Newton-Wellesley, MetroWest Medical Center, and Saint Vincent Hospital.

During their summer work experiences, students developed their skill set, and – perhaps most importantly – cultivated a sense of confidence. Students finished the program with a clarified, expanded vision of what they can accomplish as young people in the workforce. Zoie Carter, a Framingham High student who researched how malnutrition affects juvenile honey bees’ behavior, stated, “This internship has opened my eyes to a new world of potential opportunities for me.”

An example of the knowledge gained is characterized by Yatzil Valencia-Cordova, a student at FHS. Yaztil confessed that she “had zero skills in computer science” at the beginning of the summer. However, after interning at Wellesley College, Yatzil is now able to build her own website and troubleshoot issues in apps. Six other Framingham High students – all rising junior and seniors – also interned at Wellesley.

Bing Yeo, Managing Director at AFC Doctors Express, speaks to the quality of programs like those delivered by Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce: “We were all very impressed by the students. They are mature and professional beyond their relatively young ages.” The Marlborough and Natick locations of Doctors Express hosted two high school interns, Joshua Novoa and Jessica Santos, who worked in business development and medical receptionist roles. Although these students had no prior experience in the business or healthcare fields, they agreed that the summer internships were valuable steps on their career paths.

Students were placed in subsidized jobs through the YouthWorks program, and internships through the Framingham High School Internship Program. Both programs are administered by Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc.  YouthWorks is funded through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and administered at the state level by the Commonwealth Corporation.  Additional funding comes from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.