Paid STEM Internships

Interns in our paid STEM internship program will gain excellent exposure to the workplace and earn real STEM skills.

Demand for STEM Careers

The projected demand for STEM careers in the Pioneer Valley promises to be strong in fields ranging from IT and computer science to engineering and medical technology. The Paid STEM Internship Program provides area high school students with paid internships in STEM settings (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). These internships offer high school students an exceptional opportunity to gain valuable experience and connections in STEM fields and be paid for it.

Slots for this program are available only to students who apply. Applications are reviewed and slots are filled on a rolling basis and as internships become available. Although we cannot guarantee an internship in a STEM field of interest, we will do so whenever possible.

Benefits to Students:

  • Minimum hourly pay of $15 or better
  • Interview preparation, cover letter and resume writing workshops
  • Internship performance reviews using the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan
  • Great professional experience for your resume
  • References for future job and college applications, if earned
  • Expanded professional network, which can open doors to other opportunities
man showing a young person how to use a large drill

Paid STEM Internship Program

The Paid STEM Internship Program places students in high-quality STEM internships of 100-240 total hours, depending on the placement. Students are paid the state minimum wage or better.

*Please note: only students served by school districts in Hampshire and Hampden counties in western Massachusetts are eligible for this program.


Internship slots tend to be competitive, but the program strives to place ALL applicants whenever possible. Placements are determined by a range of factors, including the applicant’s STEM area of interest, geographical proximity/ease of transport to the internship site, availability of an internship host site in the area of most interest, distribution of applicants across partnership schools, and other factors. Read more below about what to expect as a student applicant, guidance staff, or an employer interested in hosting an intern.

The Collaborative internship program has created a vehicle to connect unanticipated talent with willing employers in a way that I have not witnessed before.

— Jonathan, Buell, Wright Architectural Millwork

Those interested in participating in a STEM internship are encouraged to carefully read the below sets of expectations and responsibilities. 

Guidance Staff

School Guidance professionals are expected to provide the following supports:

  • Assistance in identifying and recruiting student candidates.
  • Troubleshooting of student schedule and/or transportation difficulties.
  • Wrap-around services designed to eliminate barriers to participation and success for those students who require them, including student-centered college and career planning and the creation of individual educational plans.
  • Feedback for student and program improvement.
  • Sharing of anonymous student data for program.


For employers interested in hosting an intern, the proposed internship must include:

  • One or more concurrent or sequential internship slots of 100 hours or more, for area high school students.
  • A pay rate that meets or exceeds the state minimum wage ($15/hour) for each STEM slot.
  • Activities/responsibilities of the intern should aim to build STEM skills
  • Completion of two reviews of the Work-Based Learning Plan (this will be supported by program director).
  • Feedback on interns, internship process, employer needs and ideas for improvement.

Students and Parents/Guardians

Students interested in the program will:

  1. Submit application and answer a few questions about themselves and their STEM interests.
  2. Read the “Contract Expectations” document (provided after an application is submitted). By signing this document, students commit to meet the expectations of the program.
  3. Write a high-quality cover letter and resume. This is a necessary task but also an extremely valuable skill. Applicants will have access to 6 short video tutorials on how to create these documents and will work directly with the STEM Internship Director, Matt Rigney, to edit and hone their drafts.
  4. Use and submit the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Program upon completion of the program. More information on this document will be provided to applicants once in the program.

Matt Rigney

As Director of Workforce Development Programs, Matt Rigney focuses on the creation of opportunities for high school youth to advance their career skills and be ready for whatever comes after high school, whether college, a two-year degree, or the world of work.

The STEM Paid Internship program supports paid internships in any STEM field. Internships are a minimum of 100 hours. Depending on the topic, internships can go as high as 240 hours, all of which are paid.

Mr. Rigney also directs the CES Perkins Consortium, in which he works with five Hampshire County schools to deliver Chapter 74 and non-Chapter 74 Perkins programming in disciplines ranging from engineering to early childhood, welding, graphic design, and culinary.

Position: Director, Workforce Development Programs


Phone: (413) 522-8322

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