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Gov. Tomblin’s Column: Internship program helps prepare W.Va. students for success

By Gov. Earl Tomblin

Over the past several years, we in West Virginia have worked hard to create a strong education system and new opportunities for our students while developing workforce training programs to give our people the skills they need to find good-paying jobs. To follow down the bright path ahead, we need to make sure West Virginia students – our future – are prepared for the opportunities that await them here at home.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

We need our young people’s new perspectives and innovative ideas to help move our state forward and be the future leaders of business and industry, education and state government. For that reason, we must do everything we can and give them every opportunity to be successful in their professional careers.

The West Virginia Governor’s Internship Program offers outstanding college students the chance to use what they’ve learned in classroom and use those skills while getting hands-on experience. This opportunity benefits our state’s college students as well as employers from private, non-profit and government agencies across West Virginia.

This program matches students’ interests and educational backgrounds with businesses, state agencies and non-profit organizations seeking to host interns. In addition to gaining valuable experience, students also receive interviewing and team-building skills. Many students use these internships to evaluate current and future career choices.

Coordinated through a joint effort of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts and the state Division of Personnel, this program provides great training and vocational opportunities for students. Throughout the summer, the Governor’s Internship Program also sponsors enrichment events for interns.

In years past, events have included a reception at the Governor’s Mansion, lunch with First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, a trip to Tamarack, a roundtable discussion with community leaders, and a luncheon and tour of the West Virginia State Museum. New sessions continue to be developed for the upcoming summer to ensure the program continues to provide students with a fulfilling experience and memories to last a lifetime.

To be eligible to participate in the Governor’s Internship Program, students must currently be enrolled in a West Virginia college or university or a West Virginia resident attending an accredited college or university elsewhere; have completed at least one academic year of study at an accredited college or university by July 2016 and have a cumulative college/university GPA of 3.0 or greater.

The application process is simple. Students must submit their application electronically at before July 6.

Since its creation in 1989, more than 1,300 of West Virginia’s best and brightest students have participated in the program and gained valuable, real-world experience. For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Internship Program, visit or contact Beth Hughes at the West Virginia Department of Education by calling 304-558-2440 or by email at [email protected] or Mary Jane Ayoob at the Division of Personnel by calling 304-558-3950, ext. 57280 or by email at [email protected].

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