New state bill could expand internship opportunities for trade students

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A Republican-led bill passed this week in the North Carolina Senate aims to expand internship opportunities for students interested in the trade industry.

Senate Bill 391 passed on Wednesday.

While students can participate in internships now, there are age requirements which do not allow them to take part in some activities at the internship.

Under current state law, students at an internship under the age of 18, for example, are not permitted to practice welding or electrician work. They also cannot work on ladders or scaffolding higher than 10 ft.

Supporters hope this bill will change that and it could have a big impact on students.

“It is important for students to have that hands-on and be able to get up on a ladder or get up on a roof and actually do the activities because we all know that hands-on is life long,” said Beth Ann Trueblood, Career and Technical Education Director, Pitt County Schools. 

The Career and Technical Education Department is hoping this bill will encourage businesses to hire more students still in high school as interns.

While the bill has passed in the state Senate it now has to pass in the House to be signed into law. 

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