Twenty-four college students, recent high school graduates and qualified community members broadened their experience and educational goals by taking advantage of Fort Irwin’s 2020 Summer Intern Program on the installation, which runs from June 15 – Sept. 15.After a few years of dormancy, the Summer Intern Program was rejuvenated on Fort Irwin to provide quality of life and employment opportunities for current students and recent graduates. This year the mixed pool of talent included college students, Silver Valley High School graduates, college-attending spouses and veterans from Fort Irwin and local high desert community.According to Debera Jenkins, G8 Management Analyst, the program is intended to match the Summer Intern Employee’s educational and career ambitions with an appropriate employment opportunity at Fort Irwin.“We make sure they have a positive experience in the program and match them up with a job that’s as close as possible with their education and career goals,” said Jenkins “This opportunity gives our community, college students, and recent high school graduates a sense of pride and responsibility, they are doing important work and making real mission contributions at Fort Irwin.”The Summer Interns where placed in paid specialty jobs on the installation, with U.S. Army Forces Command and Installation Management Command, in various areas such as safety, military personnel, information technology, and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program (SHARP), “They have worked so well that their supervisors want to keep them, which is great because this program is designed as a recruitment tool for the future force,” Jenkins said “Some of them love the fact they get to see what their parents are doing.”On average interns work approximately 32 hours a week, however the program provides flexibility according to Janeice Love, who’s currently working in the SHARP office as a summer intern and is an Industrial Organizational Psychology Major in her final year at University California Irvine, “They are very flexible and want you to get the most out of the program,” said Love “I’ve learned a lot of leadership skills and what it’s like to work for the government in a professional environment.”There are times the summer hires are placed in loosely related fields due to their unique college degrees or career goals, however according to Zaylin McIntosh, who’s currently a summer intern working in the NTC Safety Office and is a Kinesiology Major in his first year at Cal State Fresno, the experience is a lifelong opportunity and the supervisors try to add value to their internship. “It’s been a great experience and I was able to take safety courses online that counts toward my college credit,” said McIntosh “I might never use these safety skills again, but having the knowledge and experience, you never know if you might need that in life.”The Summer Hire Program falls under the Pathways Internship Program through the Office of Personnel Management, which provides employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates and those with an advanced degree. The 24 Fort Irwin Summer Hires applied through USAJobs.gov and the installation is making plans to continue the program for years to come.“Our initial expectation was that the program would be a small start this year and grow every year, but we had a lot of interest,” said Jenkins “There was not one person that didn’t go over the top to make this a successful program.”