The College of Texas Rio Grande Valley Heart for Innovation and Commercialization (CIC) is providing paid internships to college students within the UTRGV Robert C. Vackar Faculty of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship to assist out small companies which have needed to lower employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This system is being made attainable via a $300,000 grant from the Financial Growth Administration.

CIC Director Laurie Simmons referred to as the internships “a extremely nice alternative for firms in addition to for college kids to get experiential studying.”

The way in which it really works is college students will apply for the internships and companies will apply describing the kind of assist they want. A overview committee of enterprise professionals from the area will overview all of the purposes and function matchmaker between interns and corporations, she mentioned.

“Based mostly on what the corporate wants and based mostly on what the scholars’ experience is, we’ll match make them, allow them to interview them to verify it’s an excellent match,” Simmons mentioned. “We’re not going to attempt to put a spherical peg in a sq. gap. … If we don’t have anyone that matches, we’ll open it as much as others. However we’re our Vackar college students first.”

This system covers UTRGV’s complete market space: Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy and Starr counties. Simmons mentioned every intern will obtain a one-time stipend of $1,000, which works out to $10 an hour since every intern will probably be required to commit 100 hours of help. It may be in-person assist, digital or a mix of the 2, based mostly on the corporate’s wants.

“It’s not based mostly on semester,” Simmons mentioned. “It’s open. If they supply 100 hours in a month as a result of they want a undertaking to be labored on, they’ll try this. Or if they simply want 20 hours a month or no matter, it’s as much as them. No matter they want.”

This system will start accepting purposes inside a number of weeks. Along with the internships, as a part of the EDA grant the CIC is providing free advertising and marketing and social media skilled providers to assist companies make the transition to on-line when neededappropriate, and refocus their advertising and marketing methods to satisfy the calls for of the pandemic.

The CIC may even make accessible “co-working area and workforce rooms” for as much as 20 companies which have misplaced their workspace or can’t afford workplace hire and utilities. Chosen companies will be capable to use the ability for as much as 20 hours per week via August 2022 and have entry to wi-fi, printer, copier and assembly rooms upon request, as much as 4 occasions a month.

The CIC was capable of apply for the EDA supplemental grant after beforehand successful a five-year College Heart grant from the EDA, Simmons mentioned.

“In Could the College Heart grantees got the chance to use for a supplemental grant via the CARES Act to have the ability to present further providers via their programming,” she mentioned. “In case you have been a College Heart grantee you possibly can apply.”

The supplemental grant was non-competitive, although the College Heart grant was extremely aggressive, Simmons mentioned. The Weslaco-based CIC has been very profitable with grants and items, racking up greater than $2 million thus far, she mentioned, including that the entity is all the time looking out for grant alternatives.

“Really I’m engaged on one proper now,” Simmons mentioned. “I really feel like I’ve turn into the grant girl. … We’re actually enthusiastic about all this and hope that we may help some folks.”

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