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Earn and Learn for Employers

LMC's Workforce Outreach program includes services for job seekers and services for employers. Email Debbie Gillespie or call (269) 926-4293 for more information or to make an appointment.

The Earn and Learn Program is funded by a $500,000 gift from Whirlpool Corporation and the Whirlpool Foundation. The program was established during the Lake Michigan College Fulfill the Dream Advancement Campaign and is administrated by LMC through Workforce Outreach.

The program is designed to encourage LMC students to participate in, and local businesses to support, student internship programs. 

The goals of the Earn and Learn Program are to:

  • Help students obtain summer jobs and gain hands-on experience in their chosen field
  • Provide business with a source of employees at little cost
  • Help attract students to the College seeking to advance their education and career skills simultaneously 
  • Encourage students to remain with a business or in the area following graduation
  • Foster education and training partnerships between the College and Employers

The annual allocation from the endowment will provide 70% of a $12 per hour pay rate for the student interns, for 20 hours a week over a period of 12 weeks.  The remaining 30% of the student’s pay is to be assumed by the employer.  Any hours over 20 hours per week are the responsibility of the Employer.

Students can learn more about the program and apply here.

Qualifying Criteria

To be considered for the Earn and Learn Internship Program, sponsored by the Whirlpool Foundation:

Student Interns must:

  • Have completed one academic year or earned at least 24 credit hours and earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5, or if a transfer student, completed one semester at Lake Michigan College.
  • Be enrolled for the following fall semester at Lake Michigan College or transfer school, or sign an Intent to Enroll form for the fall semester, or complete a co-op requirement for graduation. In these cases, students must make arrangements with the appropriate faculty member and the Director, Workforce Outreach.
  • Have an approved resume and cover letter on file with the Career and Transfer Center.
  • Provide one letter of recommendation from a Lake Michigan College faculty or staff member.
  • Demonstrate financial need for the following academic year.

Employers must:

  • Complete and submit a signed application to the Director, Workforce Outreach.
  • Interview intern applicants as they are identified.
  • Students submit resumes and cover letters to the Director, Workforce Outreach.
  • The Director, Workforce Outreach and Financial Aid confirm student eligibility.
  • The Director, Workforce Outreach will notify businesses of student candidate availability and provide resumes.
  • Lake Michigan College will select candidates for inclusion in the candidate pool based on available funds. 
  • Residents from the City of Benton Harbor will be given first preference. 
  • The pool may be expanded when/if original student candidates are not selected by an Employer.
  • The Employer arranges interviews with candidates of interest.
  • The Employer extends offer of employment to student(s).
  • Students may accept more than one interview, but may accept only one job offer, and may accept the offer of his/her choosing.
  • Employer informs the Director, Workforce Outreach of acceptance of job offer
  • Have completed one academic year or earned at least 24 credit hours and earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5, or if a transfer student, completed one semester at Lake Michigan College.
  • Be enrolled for the following fall semester at Lake Michigan College or a transfer school or sign an Intent to Enroll form for the fall semester, or complete a co-op requirement for graduation. In those cases, students must make arrangements with the appropriate faculty member and the Program coordinator.
  • Have an approved resume and cover letter on file with the Program coordinator.
  • Obtain a letter of recommendation from a Lake Michigan College faculty or staff member.
  • Demonstrate financial need for the following academic year.

How are students selected?

  • Students must submit their resume and cover letter to the Program coordinator and must have met with the Coordinator to discuss interview skills and soft skills.
  • The program coordinator and Financial Aid will confirm student eligibility.
  • The Program coordinator will notify interested businesses of student candidate availability and the amount of funds available for student salaries.
  • Lake Michigan College will select candidates for inclusion in the candidate pool based on available funds. 
  • Residents from the City of Benton Harbor will be given first preference. 
  • The pool may be expanded when/if the original student candidates are not selected by any business.
  • The College provides interested businesses with resumes on Earn and Learn candidates.
  • The businesses arrange interviews with candidates of interest.
  • The business extends offer of employment to student(s).
  • Students may accept more than one interview, but may only accept one position, and may accept the offer of his/her choosing.

Can a company retain a student for more than 12 weeks?

Yes, however, after 12 weeks the company is responsible for all wages and benefits.

Can a company pay more or less than $12 per hour?

Yes, however, if wages paid are less than $12 per hour the program will only reimburse the company for 70% of the hourly amount actually paid, with an hourly wage cap of $12 per hour.

When would students be available to start work?

Usually April 30; negotiable between employer and intern; please inform the Director, Workforce Outreach

Is the student an employee of the College or the company?

Once hired a student is considered an employee of the company and subject to all the policies, rules and regulations of your organization and any applicable federal, state or local laws and ordinances. 

How can my company participate in the Whirlpool Earn and Learn program?

Complete the Earn and Learn Employer Packet and submit these forms to:

Debbie Gillespie
Director, Workforce Outreach
269.926.4293
gillespie@lakemichigancollege.edu

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