bannerimg

Host FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

WorkSource Montgomery (WSM) is a public-private partnership that convenes key stakeholders to create an innovative workforce system approach for sustainable, industry-driven talent solutions.
Summer R.I.S.E (Real Interesting Summer Experience) is a locally funded initiative led by WorkSource Montgomery, Inc. (WSM), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and supported by county and state government partners, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. We recruit host businesses and governmental organizations willing to bring rising high school juniors and seniors into their workplaces and offer hands-on, real world career experiences. We prepare students for their work at host organizations through a mandatory financial literacy workshop and a primer on expectations for workplace behavior, attitudes, communication, and customer/colleague interaction. We pay participants a $300 stipend after they complete the 60 hour/three week Summer R.I.S.E. experience. Our affiliated partner organizations help prospective participants overcome obstacles by providing bus passes, free checking accounts, and appropriate workplace attire, as needed. WSM supports host organizations by providing a workshop and framework that each host adapts to create its own unique three-week career shadowing experience. This guidance ensures that all hosts emphasize transferable skills and universal expectations such as:
  • Typical business models and workplace environments.
  • Expectations for employee attitudes, reliability, punctuality, collaboration skills, communication, and behavior in a professional environment.
  • Appropriate customer service in the context of the workplace.
  • Common technology found in today’s workplaces.
  • Potential career pathways and growth opportunities within your professional sector.
Summer R.I.S.E. experiences show students’ what they need to do to be “career-ready.” Constructive feedback from supportive host supervisors bolsters their self-confidence and empowers them to take initiative. Since many students lack access to professional adult mentors or opportunities to visit parental worksites, Summer R.I.S.E. provides invaluable insights about work and related postsecondary educational options near their Montgomery County homes and schools. Their Summer R.I.S.E. experience becomes an onramp to career preparation that is critical if they have yet to establish career goals or identify appealing options. A summer experience like this can motivate them and highlight the skills they need to develop. Host organizations benefit by seeing what local talent can offer and experiencing fresh new perspectives these students bring to their offices and job sites.
Hosts devise the career experience their Summer R.I.S.E. students will have. WorkSource Montgomery provides an orientation workshop to share guidelines and resources, but since each host is unique, it is best to determine how to best schedule, assign, support, manage, and provide feedback to students during the three-week period. Some hosts shift students among units or departments, allowing them to experience a wide spectrum of activity while others identify one manager to supervise the tasks students undertake. This is intended to be adapted to your context and to allow you to guide the students’ experiences so as to expose them to the maximum array of opportunities to learn and grow.
Host organizations typically accept two or more students for a three-week experience at their organization. Though not mandatory to have two students, having a “buddy” at the same workplace can help students to feel comfortable. Students should be at the host organization for about 20 hours per week, should not exceed 40 hours a week, and should complete 60 hours over the three weeks, but the exact schedule should be worked out between the supervisor and student. We welcome a diverse selection of organizations, including large, small, non-profit, private sector, government and public safety agencies. Given the quantity of organizations and industries located in Montgomery County, we seek a host lineup that reflects the breadth of sectors present so that R.I.S.E. participants will have the chance to experience areas they may not have considered and to learn skills that are transferable among the pool of local employers. Prior to the summer, hosts will be invited to an orientation workshop where we will provide some guidance and support in developing your own Summer R.I.S.E. experience.
As a host, you bring two or more students to your workplace location(s) to shadow members of your staff in order to learn about your business and your sector. Participating in the work of your organization provides opportunities for hands-on learning in a way that reflects your approach to the job or jobs your staff does. Student assignments should highlight transferable skills and general expectations that you hold for those who work with you and should include the chance for students to observe and practice:
  • Typical business models and workplace environments
  • Expectations for employee attitudes, reliability, punctuality, collaboration skills, communication, and behavior in a professional environment.
  • appropriate customer service in the context of the workplace.
  • Common technology found in today’s workplaces.
  • Potential career pathways and growth opportunities within your professional sector.
Summer R.I.S.E. experiences should bolster participants’ awareness of what they need to do to be career-ready. Please provide constructive feedback that provides opportunities for initiative and leads to increasing self confidence as they complete tasks and demonstrate initiative.
Sponsors are local businesses/organizations that contribute to the good of our community by supporting Summer R.I.S.E. through financial or in-kind contributions. WorkSource Montgomery is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations may be tax deductible. WorkSource Montgomery gratefully accepts donations to support the Summer R.I.S.E. program online at https://www.paypal.me/summerrise. Donations can also be mailed to WorkSource Montgomery, 1801 Rockville Pike, Suite 320, Rockville, MD 20852. Thank you in advance!
By responding to brief surveys WSM distributes to hosts (and students) at the midpoint and end of the summer you help us address challenges and overcome obstacles.
Summer R.I.S.E. 2018 will run from July 9 to July 27. Each organization works with its students to set their work schedules. Students spend about 20 hours per week, but not more than 40, and must complete 60 hours total over three weeks.
We will hold a host orientation in June to share best practices and lessons from the previous summer.As noted above, in May, 2018 we will hold a host orientation to share best practices and lessons from the previous summer. When considering how to make the student experience meaningful and instructive, each organization should consider how to create an experience that works in their own environment and reflects what they do. That said, it makes general sense to start off with an introduction for the students to let them know what work looks like and how elements of the organization collaborate to meet objectives. Students should get clear career-shadowing assignments and schedules so that they know what they are to do and who is supervising their tasks at a given time. And they should know how each part of their experience concludes and who will provide feedback so they can determine whether they met expectations. You are the expert on your organization and your goals, so as a host you should structure the experience to provide sensible exposure to elements of your work that both challenge and inform the students. Recall that the overall program objectives specify that during the three weeks, students build awareness of:
  • Typical business models and workplace environments.
  • Expectations for employee attitudes, reliability, punctuality, collaboration skills, communication, and behavior in a professional environment.
  • Appropriate customer service in the context of the workplace
  • Common technology found in today’s workplaces
  • Potential career pathways and growth opportunities within your professional sector.
As an example, in 2017 WorkSource Montgomery hosted several students. They began with an orientation about what WSM does in the community. Then they spent time at our job centers and youth center, worked with Summer R.I.S.E. staff mentors who introduced them to our management operations, business structure, communications operation, and standard office technology. Week 1: We held an WSM orientation at our main office Week 2: We sent them to our WSM Job Center where they helped staff who support job seekers and worked with staff at the WSM Youth Center Week 3: They returned to the WSM main office to contribute to program oversight and planning
In addition to the initial host orientation, Summer R.I.S.E. Cluster Coordinators (CC) will serve as points of contact during the three-week period for all hosts and student participants. All students and hosts will be assigned to a CC and will receive their CC’s phone or electronic contacts prior to the start of the program. CC’s are the primary troubleshooters at any point during the experience.
The Maryland Education Code requires that students placed with an employer in an unpaid work-based learning experience be protected by workers’ compensation coverage. Although each of your workers’ compensation insurers likely has a different process for securing coverage, in general, your organization’s pre-existing business coverage should extend to your Summer R.I.S.E. student. You can confirm that your workers’ compensation coverage extends to your Summer R.I.S.E. student by contacting your broker. If your business does not currently have workers’ compensation insurance that would cover your Summer R.I.S.E. student, you will be required to secure such coverage before your business may participate in the program. It is also worth noting that your business’s normal policies and procedures (i.e. your policies regarding harassment, discrimination, etc.) should extend to cover your Summer R.I.S.E. student. We encourage our host partners to send an email to employees informing them that company policies apply to Summer R.I.S.E. students who are at the workplace for the summer.
Following the three-week career experience, WSM and MCPS will host the Summer R.I.S.E. 2018 Celebration for students, hosts, sponsors, and partners on Friday, July 27. Look for a special invitation in your email to this special event.