Third Annual Externship Program Promises Continued Success

Close to 40 individuals were on hand at the Third Annual Teacher/Externship Awards Dinner on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at the LISD TECH Center to celebrate yet another successful year! The Align Center for Workforce Development, in partnership with the Lenawee Intermediate School District, has planned and executed the Externship Program each of the past three years.

Externs are schoolteachers or counselors who work at various employers throughout Lenawee county to gain knowledge of multiple professions and trades to be able to take the information back to the classroom to share with students.

This year, a record was set for overall participation. In 2021, in the program’s first year, and during COVID, there were only three externs and three host employers. In 2022, it grew to nine externs and five host employers. Participating this year were 12 teachers and counselors representing seven school districts and a record-breaking 12 host employers! The districts participating this year were:

  • Adrian (Kristen Memering and Michele Moore)
  • Blissfield (Samantha Buggia, Scott Ricker and Christa Graham)
  • Hudson (Brandi Clark, Nicole Cheney and Andrew Moore)
  • LISD (Glen Bowman)
  • Morenci (Andrea Berry)
  • Onsted (Michael Henige)
  • Tecumseh (Lisa Owen)

The host employers included: 3DPT, Anderson Development, Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee, Evonik, Greater Lenawee Chamber of Commerce, Lenawee-Hillsdale Medical Examiner, Michigan Agricultural Commodities, Our Family Friend, Planewave Instruments, Plastic Omnium, ProMedica Hickman Hospital and the YMCA of Greater Toledo!

“I had not even heard of the company I worked for before my externship, but it looked intriguing so I Googled it,” said Scott Ricker, who was placed at Planewave Instruments. “I was blown away with the work they did! As a high school math teacher, I can think of all kinds of things I can do now with my students as a result of my time there!”

Melissa Tsuji, Director of Career Services at Siena Heights University, and member of the program planning team served as emcee for the evening. Each extern made a presentation and spoke about their unique and meaningful two weeks at their host employer. Each one also shared specific details about how they would use and apply the valuable information they gained once they returned to their districts. Individual awards were presented to each host employer representative and each extern.

“We hope to continue this program in the future as we know the impact it has connecting educators with employers,” said Chuck Chase, Employer Navigator for Align Center for Workforce Development, who has been coordinating externship efforts for the last three years. “Thanks to opportunities like these, schools are able to provide their students insight into any number of successful and rewarding careers that they might not otherwise have known about!”

If you would like to learn more about becoming an extern next summer or being a host employer, please email [email protected].