§5B-2D-8. Summer youth intern pilot program.

A summer youth intern pilot program is established within the Department of Commerce to provide high school students with internship opportunities that allow these youths to explore and prepare for high-demand careers, gain work experience, and develop the life characteristics necessary for success in occupations and entrepreneurship. The Department of Commerce shall work with employers, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions to provide for the placement of youth in internships primarily in high-demand career fields with a prioritization of offering equitable opportunities for all students. Subject to an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose, the Department of Commerce may award grants to assist employers with costs of the summer youth intern pilot projects on a competitive basis subject to the following:

(1) The Department of Commerce shall annually issue a request for proposals to the public, specifying the expectations, requirements, and qualifications for the summer youth intern pilot program grant, including, but not limited to, the provision of facilities, programming, staffing, and outcomes; and

(2) The Department of Commerce shall give full and fair consideration to each proposal submitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection and shall award grants after considering, at a minimum, the following:

(A) The bidder’s history and experience in the community;

(B) The capacity to serve a substantial number of youths;

(C) The suitability of the available facilities;

(D) The bidder’s contacts and partnerships in the community that can be leveraged to maximize opportunity for project participants; and

(E) The capacity to provide employability skills, including but not limited to training relating to soft skills, financial literacy, and career development.