Governor’s Energy Interns
For the last two years, Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Intern Program has provided work opportunities for Montana college students through a unique collaboration of Montana schools, businesses, and government. Funded by a US Department of Education grant, the Energy Intern Program awarded scholarships to college students who completed an internship in Montana's growing energy sector. Relying on cutting-edge private businesses to provide hands-on projects, the program provided relevant experience for interns while empowering host site businesses by offering access to Montana's stellar college students. Since its start in May 2011, 139 interns contributed over 24,400 hours to Montana’s burgeoning energy sector.
Over its duration, the Energy Intern program received 280 applications from 14 of the 20 public and tribal post-secondary institutions in the state. Students eligible to receive financial aid were paired with projects relevant to their studies; these interns received a scholarship upon completion of their project. A total of $245,000 in scholarships was awarded to financially needy students from Montana’s public and tribal colleges.
The internships would not have been possible without host sites. 60 businesses, nonprofits and academic institutions across the state provided opportunities for interns to work and learn. Host sites covered a spectrum of energy-related fields: renewable energy system installation, energy awareness and education, recycling programs, electricity co-ops, innovative energy storage solutions, alternative fuels, sustainable agricultural practices and more.
Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Intern Program was funded by a Federal US Department of Education grant. The program was conducted by the Governor's Office of Community Service, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as well as the Department of Commerce’s Energy Promotion and Development Division.