Municipal internships will be available to New Jersey Community College students statewide through a new partnership between the New Jersey Municipal Management Association (NJMMA) and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC). The Municipal Connection Internship Program is the expansion of a successful internship program between Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) and Hillsborough Township that will now be offered in all 18 New Jersey Community Colleges.
Through the partnership, a representative from each Community College will work closely with a NJMMA Liaison who will coordinate municipal internships across the county. Every county has at least one municipality committed to participating in the program so far with the goal of adding more municipalities in the days ahead. The program will offer hands-on experience in the many diverse areas of the public sector, including public administration, accounting, engineering, public policy, human resources, communication and information, political science, and business. Interns will be paid, earn college credits, and/or receive stipends.
"The Municipal Connection Internship Program will allow us to help students grow and evolve within their own communities, all while exploring a potential future in municipal management and administration,” said Anthony Ferrera, President of NJMMA. "Our united team of municipal and higher education professionals look forward to guiding the interns as they discover their future career paths."
“The Raritan Valley Community College-Hillsborough Township model is the inspiration for this statewide initiative. Our 18 Community Colleges are incredibly excited for this opportunity to partner with municipalities across the state. We know there are so many great careers within municipal government, and we hope The Municipal Connection Internship Program draws even more attention to the value of public service,” said Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., President of NJCCC. “This program will give our students the opportunity to contribute to their local communities and gain experience that will help them make important career decisions and create a stronger workforce.”
The Raritan Valley Community College-Hillsborough Township program started in 2018. Students have been able to participate in sectors of local government such as social services, health, administration, and engineering. Within the engineering sector, students were able to learn about zoning and coding regulations, attend job sites for hands-on application, and develop new processes and engineering guides.
“These opportunities are always great because it’s all about the students,” said Michael J. McDonough, RVCC President. “Here is another example of local students being provided really unique opportunities in the communities where they live and go to school.”
“We have had a fabulous relationship with the Hillsborough Municipal Office and our students gain so much by volunteering and working part-time in various positions,” said Lori Moog, Director of Service Learning and Community Outreach, RVCC. “It has proven to give our students such great exposure to local government.”
“I’m eager for more municipalities, like my own, to utilize this program, because there is a void in young people coming into local government,” said Gregory Bonin, a NJMMA Liaison and Branchburg Township Administrator. “The real goal here is to show students the value of public service from not just a financial standpoint, but from a personally rewarding standpoint as well.”