August 1, 2017

College students are jumpstarting their careers in Martinsville-Henry County thanks to New College Institute (NCI).


This summer the NCI Internship Program hosted 42 interns among 30 employers in various fields. Through funding from the New College Foundation, the Harvest Foundation, and local employers, the NCI Summer Internship Program provides paid summer internship opportunities for college students with employers throughout Martinsville, Henry County, and surrounding areas in the region. Since 2007, NCI has created over 450 internship opportunities for students, many of whom have returned to work in the area.


“NCI’s internship program is a successful approach to attract and retain young talent back home to Martinsville and Henry County. Through their work and volunteer experiences associated with the program, we hope to demonstrate to these college students that our community is a great place to build their careers after graduation,” said Dr. Leanna Blevins, NCI’s executive director.


Many interns feel a passion for improving the community and returning to work here after college. “Coming back home and making a difference is important because nobody knows better how to improve this community and solve the problems in this area than those of us who grew up here,” said Ria Farley, intern at the Patrick County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office.


For Dashan Williams, his internship experience with the Martinsville City Public Schools’ IT Department has helped him connect the classroom to real life scenarios. “This opportunity that I was blessed with has definitely encouraged me to return to Martinsville-Henry County to work post-graduation. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience.”



Through this program, students are able to gain hands-on experience related to their fields of study by working with an employer in Martinsville-Henry County and surrounding communities. While students gain valuable work experience and connections, employers have an opportunity to test drive potential candidates for full-time hire at a low-cost investment.


For many employers, NCI interns are able to complete special projects and lend much-needed help throughout the summer. “Our intern, Samantha has been fabulous!  She was given an extensive project to complete and was able to do so with very little assistance.  She made an excellent addition to our staff and we would be happy to hire her if we could,” shared Bonnie Favero, prevention manager at Piedmont Community Services.

Intern Heather Hawley spent the summer working as a mechanical engineering intern for Eastman. "Because of the New College Institute Summer Internship program, I was able to intern in my field of study without having to relocate. This opportunity has provided me with irreplaceable on-the-job experience and networking. I'm so grateful to have made this connection, and it's so relieving to realize that there are amazing engineering opportunities in my own hometown.”

The requirements for interns to complete this internship include fulfilling 320 work hours with their employers, participating in volunteer projects, and attending networking and professional development activities. Interns earn $12.50 per hour, thus receiving $4,000 over the course of the summer.


For more information about the NCI Internship Program and other experiential learning opportunities at NCI, please contact Autumn Morris at (276) 403-5615 and