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Internship program helps high school students learn job skills

Program helps kids learn job skills

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — So-called “signing days” are usually big days reserved for high school athletes committing to college teams after heavy recruitment.

A student at North Central High School on Wednesday got a similar honor when he signed with a company for an internship to learn the trades. Travon Lineweaver, a senior at the school, signed to intern with The Skillman Corp., a Beech Grove-based construction management company.

“Knowing Skillman is a big corporation, that takes on a big responsibility,” Lineweaver said. “It’s a pretty big commitment. (I) didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school. I took the welding path over at (the J. Everett Light Career Center), and I found out about Skillman and how I might be able to take welding into construction.”

Lineweaver will learn about welding and also get a look at plumbing and other key skills that can help him get a job after high school.

“I feel ahead of the game, which is always nice, being able to take this into the next step, which for me, I don’t know, I might go to college a little bit later. I don’t feel like going to college straight out of high school, but we all take a different path and I chose this one.”

“Construction is very broad. There are various opportunities.”

The program is part of a $470 million capital referendum project of the Washington Township Schools district on the north side of Indianapolis. The program places North Central students with companies who have worked on the project. Lineweaver could be hired by the company as well. He was Washington Township Schools’ sixth student to cross into the program.

“As a Black, African-American male, not a lot of people get this opportunity. I didn’t think I was going to get this opportunity,” Lineweaver said. “It took my family and help from the school and resources around me to get me here. It doesn’t matter what race you are, (or) how old you are, you can take a dream and make it true.”

David Yancey is an account executive and the director of client services at Skillman Corp. “We need more younger people” in the trades,” he said.

Yancey says he started as an intern with Skillman Corp. in Merrillville, a city in northwest Indiana. “Baby boomers are starting to retire, so this is definitely an industry we need help with,” he said.

Shannon Fowler, the work-based learning coordinator at  Washington Township Schools, recommended Lineweaver for the program.

“The reality is not every student is going to go to college,” Fowler noted.

This story initially was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. The story was later updated with additional information.