College Working with Alumni and Orange County Chamber of Commerce to Broaden Networks for Students

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- With the $7,000 grant it has received during Phase II of the State University of New York’s SUNY Works grant program this summer, SUNY Orange hopes to offer more of its students the opportunity to gain valuable degree-related experiences in the workforce while still enrolled in college.

SUNY Works logoSUNY Orange is one of nine SUNY institutions, four four-year universities and five community colleges, targeted in this latest round of the SUNY Works initiative. In total, there are now 18 campuses across the state that have expanded and enhanced cooperative education and internship opportunities for students while partnering with local employers.

“SUNY has created an open dialogue with employers statewide to be sure our students have a competitive edge in today’s job market, and that our campuses are valuable economic resources for the business community in every region,” says SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “SUNY Works is about opportunity–for students to graduate truly job-ready, for faculty to extend their lessons outside the classroom, and for employers to directly influence the workforce of the future.”

Last year, 98 SUNY Orange students completed credit-bearing internships with local businesses and nonprofit organizations. The College’s Office of Career and Internship Services has begun working closely with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce to create awareness among the business community about the benefits of interns. The College is also reaching out to its alumni to mentor students. Interested businesses or alumni may contact Petra Wege-Beers, director of Career and Internship Services, at (845) 341-4444.

“It is certainly to our students’ advantage any time we can unite them with businesses and organizations within our community,” says Dr. William Richards, president of SUNY Orange. “They build relationships, gain valuable experiences and come to understand the expectations of employers. SUNY Works will allow SUNY Orange to strengthen relationships with our alumni, work even more closely with our local Chamber of Commerce, and expand our internship offerings, both paid and unpaid, in order to further prepare our students for life after the classroom.”

Nationally, statistics reveal that 95 percent of students who participate in an internship or co-op experience find jobs immediately upon graduation; and seven out of every 10 co-op students are offered positions by the employers for which they worked while enrolled in the program.

SUNY Works is supported by grants from the Lumina Foundation for Education and Carnegie Corporation.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940