Internship gives real-world job experience
This summer, three Newport News Public School (NNPS) students worked hard in the heat to beautify 10 school campuses.
Crew members were enrollees in a course called Work Experience II. They aided the school system’s Plant Services Department and served as paid interns, spreading mulch in flowerbeds.
These student workers applied at the NNPS human resources offices and were processed as employees, following the same steps other employees complete, including fingerprinting and completing real job applications.
Plant Services supplied the mulch and a crew cab truck to transport the student workers, their teacher and an instructional assistant to each worksite. The team started work early each day to get ahead of summer heat as they unloaded and spread the mulch.
Through this work-based learning experience, the interns learned about the world of work and through hands-on real-world work experience, gained valuable skills for future employment while accomplishing work tasks provided by Plant Services.
Kim Keith, their teacher, drove a dump truck to pick up and deliver the mulch, and Debbie Marfa, instructional assistant, transported the student workers in the crew cab. Both Ms. Keith and Ms. Marfa worked side by side with the students and gave the team compassionate supervision as they taught them the protocols of work life.
Vivian Vitullo, special education supervisor for NNPS, said, “This program gave these students a taste of real work life and adulthood. We hope to offer more experiences like this in the future.”
Retirees honored at special event
Newport News Public Schools celebrated its most recent class of retiring employees with a dinner event at the Marriott at Town Center in August.
The 2021-22 class of retirees included 200 employees who worked in schools, worksites and offices throughout the city.