Nine rising high school seniors will be better prepared to enter the workforce next year, following their graduation Aug. 5 from Riviera Utilities summer internship program (SUIT). SUIT fills two critical needs in Baldwin County – workforce development and an education and training program for students who may not choose the college path.
Now in its second year, Riviera launched the internship program in 2021 in partnership with the Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBE) and the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Commission (SAWDC).
“When we developed SUIT with our partners, we had two main goals: provide local high school students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the utility industry; and, be an active participant in workforce development in Alabama,” Sharon Cureton, PhD, Administration Manager at Riviera Utilities said.
That real-world experience has already paid off for three of the interns from the 2021 SUIT program, Cureton said. Two were hired in the spring, and a third was hired this week.
“Several of our interns this summer have already expressed an interest in working for Riviera in the future, beginning with part-time jobs this fall,” Cureton said.
Each intern was assigned a mentor, received safety training and orientation, and worked alongside a supervisor and other employees. During the commencement ceremony, each intern gave a presentation highlighting their experience and received a letter of commendation.
The graduating interns, their high school, and their positions with Riviera are:
Natan Anaya, Daphne High School – Appliance Service
Jaden Bentley, Spanish Fort High School – Gas Operator
Javani Beshears-Ellis, Daphne High School – Warehouse-Daphne
Adam Bishop, Daphne High School – Appliance Service
Joseph Eicher, Foley High School – Gas Engineer Tech
Kenjarius Hall, Foley High School – Plant Operator
Blake Hoffman, Spanish Fort High School – Groundworker-Daphne
Grace James, Elberta High School – Electric Engineer Tech-Foley
Easton Whatley, Foley High School – Groundworker-Foley