STEM @ Work

Our STEM@Work Paid Internship Program operates as a stand-alone internship program specializing in placements in which students are exposed to advanced STEM skills available only in high-tech settings. All of our STEM@Work placements qualify as category “A” placements as defined in the grant’s order of priority for placements. Since the program’s inception, we have placed more than 85 students in this highest-quality category. 

STEM@Work Paid Internship Program

Our partnership with our Hampshire County school partners is the reason we recruit as successfully as we do: we have established relationships with administrators, guidance counselors, and instructors in each of the districts, and work with them to identify student candidates for inclusion in the STEM@Work program. 
The projected demand for STEM careers in the Pioneer Valley promises to be strong in fields ranging from IT and web development to medical health services and records, to financial bookkeeping and accounting.

Most employers know the challenges of finding qualified applicants to fill positions requiring specific skills, while students preparing for these careers can find it hard to gain real-world experience. Employers working with the program can attract a larger and more qualified pool of candidates and play a direct role in developing their future workforce.

The experience opens up opportunities for solid work experience to add to each student’s resume.

African American man demonstrates how to use a machine in a lab for a young female student.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Examples of STEM jobs include:
  • Biotechnician
  • Engineer
  • Environmental Assessor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Machinist
  • Financial Advisor
  • Investment Analyst
  • Physical Therapist
  • Auto Technician 
  • Graphic Designer
  • Computer Animator
  • Manufacturer
  • Nurse

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 CES STEM@Work 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 50 hours or more, for area high school students
  • A pay rate that meets or exceeds the state minimum wage ($11/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 participating in an internship are expected to:

  • Fully participate in and complete of all aspects of the program, including all internship hours and reflection activities (journal-writing and a final product, such as an oral presentation, written report, or video)
  • Have the support of a parent/guardian, including timely arrival to the internship location and all training opportunities, appropriate attire and a positive attitude
  • Communicate appropriately and effectively with internship staff and employers
  • Follow company policies for employees
  • Provide feedback to improve program
  • Provide school guidance staff with approval to share anonymous student data for program

Free Resources

Find out more about our STEM Career Skills Virtual Workshops

Matt Rigney

Matt Rigney is the Director of the STEM@Work Paid Internship Program, the CES Perkins Consortium, and CES Connecting Activities. He has acted as the Director of the Hampshire County School-to-Career Partnership for over nineteen years, where he supervises and assists nine school-to-work team members in the development of internship programs, career development workshops, and use of funds for career skill development. As the regional Perkins Consortium Director, he works with four schools to deliver non-Chapter 74 Perkins programming in disciplines ranging from engineering to early childhood, welding, graphic design, and culinary. As Director of the STEM@Work Paid Internship Program, he places high school students in paid, cutting edge STEM internships in biomed, chemical engineering, neuroscience, biophysics, and other STEM fields. In all of these CES programs, Mr. Rigney partners with community members and colleagues to develop essential career skills in youth.

Position: Director, Workforce Development Programs


Phone: 413.522.8322

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