WINNSBORO — Three Fairfield Central High School Class of 2014 graduates are set to begin a summer internship at Midlands BioFuels in Winnsboro.
It is the first “green” Summer work program in South Carolina.
Pervis Walker, Dejong Jeter and Sheniqwa Moore will begin working at Midlands BioFuels in Winnsboro on June 16. The six week summer internship will go through the end of July.
Midlands BioFuels Owner Joe Renwick chose the three students out of a field of 16. Renwick conducted interviews and found three students that fit the needs for his plant.
“Each one of them I will have doing a different task at the plant,” Renwick noted.
When considering the interns, Renwick thought those three would fit in well with what is needed at Midlands BioFuels.
Walker is going to Francis Marion University in the Fall and plans to study journalism.
Renwick told The Herald Independent he needed someone to handle public relations and write press releases for the company to help with communications.
Specifically, Walker will work in social media as well.
Renwick said Walker will be responsible to write short articles and even take some photographs.
“It will give him a well rounded experience in a job he wants to go in to,” he explained.
Moore, who is also going to Francis Marion University, has previously worked at BI-LO grocery store working in customer service.
Renwick said Moore will be responsible in contacting current customers and helping them with their social media.
“It will be a joint program where her (Moore) Pervis (Walker) will work together with one working on content and one working on contacts,” Renwick explained.
Renwick said the duo will help link Midlands BioFuels’ customers’ web pages and social media accounts to Midlands BioFuels in order to help them advance that aspect of their business.
Jeter will be a bio diesel apprentice and plans to attend the Art Institute of North Carolina.
A plant apprentice will assist in producing bio diesel and handling some of the work associated with the process.
Renwicks’s expectations and goals are that the three students will be good employees and work well together.
Renwick noted some of the immediate benefits in employing interns.
“I would love to see their efforts result in a new position created within my business,” he said.
Renwick suggested that analyzing what type of effect the summer interns have in customer service and public relations could possibly lead to a hiring long-term.
Compensation of $7.25 per hour, at 30 hours per week, for the three graduates will be paid through the state of South Carolina while getting experience as well.
There are also cash incentives and goal achievement included.
Renwick learned about the summer intern program, which was created in 2009, through Central Midlands Council of Governments, Midlands Workforce Investment Area and WIA Youth.
WIA Youth presents Summer Work and Beyond for graduating seniors class of 2014.
The summer internship includes six weeks of summer employment and one week of work readiness training.
Work beyond also includes possible tuition assistance for college and vocational training.
When he initially received the flier, Renwick was excited about the opportunity to employ summer interns.
“I’ve always wanted to work with students from Fairfield County and this is the first opportunity I’ve had for them to work directly at the plant with students,” he said.
Renwick noted that Midlands BioFuels has done work programs with student at the vocational center before, but this will be the first time they will actually be working on site.
Fairfield Career and Technology Center teacher Ernest Manning instructed projects where students grew a special seed that could be grown and harvested to make bio diesel four years ago.
This past year, students grew sunflowers and there were also two different instances where students worked with the print shop doing labels and printing.
However, those project never required students to come on site and were just a joint educational program to teach horticulture and graphic design marketing
Renwick is excited to exploring more long term opportunities not only for the graduates, but also will allow the company to explore staffing at various positions.
He is looking forward to incorporating this new idea.
“Even though he didn’t create the idea, I wanted to talk to Mr. Green (Superintendent of Fairfield County Schools) because it is because of his leadership that I’ve got students I would consider hiring and he is doing a good job with that,” he said.
For more information about the Summer intern programs, contact a WIA youth representative in Fairfield County by calling 803-815-0627 or visiting www.midlandsworks.org.
This is an equal opportunity employer program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.