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Dinolfo Launches MatchUP Monroe – A New, Immersive Internship Program for Local Students

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo was joined by local business leaders, college and university representatives, and local stakeholders to launch MatchUP Monroe, a new County initiative aimed at retaining local college students after graduation. This first-of-its-kind immersive internship initiative, which has been in development since early 2019, will offer paid positions, free transportation and housing, and even local cultural experiences to show off all that Monroe County has to offer. Students and employers who are interested in participating in the program can learn more at MatchUPMonroe.org.

“We’ve made it our mission to build a workforce that is ready for the economy of today and the jobs of tomorrow by investing in skills training, practical education, and now our first-of-its-kind talent retention program – MatchUP Monroe,” said Dinolfo. “MatchUP Monroe is custom designed to link students from our world-class colleges and universities with rewarding internships at some of our community’s most exciting local employers. Not only will these young people receive paid positions that can help launch their careers, they will also enjoy free transportation and housing, in addition to local experiences that show all that Monroe County has to offer. Together, we will ‘MatchUP’ our best and brightest students and employers to build a brighter future for all of us.”

Through strategic new partnerships, Monroe County has developed a first-of-its-kind program that will connect students with paid internships at exciting employers, provide no-cost summer housing, and offer immersive cultural experiences to show all that Monroe County has to offer. Students from all colleges and universities located in Monroe County are eligible to apply. Internship postings and applications will be available on the widely-used Handshake app. All internships will be paid and will match the student’s educational area of interest. Several local colleges and universities have agreed to have their students participate, including the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), University of Rochester, Nazareth College, Monroe Community College (MCC), Roberts Wesleyan College, and St. John Fisher College.

“Incentive programs like Match Up Monroe provide our students with the opportunity to learn more about the great jobs and rewarding career opportunities that this region has to offer,” said Ian Mortimer, Vice President for Enrollment Management at RIT. “Talent is key to the success of our regional economy and we welcome partnerships such as this that enable us to retain our best and brightest graduates.”

Participating local companies will form a screening committee to select the top applicants to MatchUP Monroe. Applicants will then interview with these companies for paid positions in their area of interest. Students will participate in the eight to ten week program, featuring paid internship positions, free housing at RIT’s renowned Global Village, free transportation through the Regional Transit Service, and cultural experiences curated by Visit Rochester. Upon completion, students will have gained invaluable field experience, made important connections in their field, and gotten to learn more about the community of Monroe. In many cases, participants could be eligible to be hired for full-time positions with their employer.

Numerous local companies have already signed-on to participate in MatchUP Monroe. They include: CloudCheckr, Datto, 29 Design Studio, LeFrois Builders & Developers, Unither, and eLogic. Other interested employers can still apply to participate at MatchUPMonroe.org. Dinolfo’s announcement took place at Innovative Solutions, Inc., a company who will be participating in MatchUP Monroe and host interns next summer.

“We are so excited to partner with Cheryl and her team to help solve one of the biggest problems in our community – retention, said Justin Copie, CEO of Innovative Solutions, Inc. “Through this program, we’re excited to usher students into our business so they can begin to develop relationships within the community, and learn what makes this community so great. It is our responsibility to nurture the amazing talent in this community, if we’re to grow this community.”

Monroe County will coordinate recreational activities and events for the students to participate in throughout the course of the program, including visits to sporting events, festivals, plays and historical attractions. Community partners in this effort include VisitRochester, Geva Theater, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Seneca Park Zoo, and more.

“It is important for the young professionals who enter into our community as students to experience the abundance of things there are to see and do in Monroe County,” said Don Jeffries, President and CEO of Visit Rochester. “Monroe County is home to world-class arts and cultural institutions, nationally-recognized museums, a fantastic parks and recreation system and a fabulous food scene. Visit Rochester is excited to connect the MatchUP Monroe program participants with all that our community has to offer.”

Launching in the summer of 2020, MatchUP Monroe is uniquely designed to provide employment opportunities aligned with current and future job openings in in-demand industries. Housing, transportation and other costs will be funded each year by Imagine Monroe. The program will receive staff support from the Monroe County Department of Planning and Economic Development.