In 2006, several board members of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, including the Superintendent of Mount Vernon School District, visited the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. Since 1996, the Greater Yakima Chamber Foundation has been running a Business Education Partnership with 14 local school districts in and around Yakima County. The chamber offers these school districts a wide selection of opportunities, from speakers and job shadows to teacher field trips and lunch buddies, designed to give students K – 12 a “real world” work experience. These opportunities help students determine their interests and career goals and encourage them to stay in school to meet those goals.

The Mount Vernon Chamber board returned home armed with ambition and great ideas, and began the process of building a similar entity in Skagit County.

The goal was to improve the connection between businesses in Skagit County and the kids in Skagit County schools. We believe that a stronger connection will help students to see the amazing opportunities available to them and motivate them to work hard to succeed. Our goals were to improve graduation rates and grades, help students see that career opportunities exist for them here in Skagit County, and support business in getting more involved with the schools and their future workforce.

In 2009 we we partnered with the Northwest Workforce Development Council to obtain a Bridges Grant focuses on helping at risk Mount Vernon High School students through mentorships.

In February 2010 we again partnered with the Northwest Workforce Development Council on the Opportunity Partnership Grant which is designed to help specific groups of Skagit Valley College students obtain paid internships and job shadows in the health care field to enhance their education. Funds from this grant are supporting the development of the logo and our processes so that we can continue to find ways to support education in our local community.

  • Job Shadows: Student scheduled at work site with a specific individual (mentor) for 3-4 hours to observe. Involves an informational interview and brief employer evaluation
  • Paid Internship: For qualifying students a paid internship provides part-time or full-time work for up to six weeks with a supervisor/mentor. In some cases the internship is paid for by WorkSource.
  • Speakers Bureau: Speaking in primary or secondary schools as requested at agreed upon time.
  • Unpaid Internship: Full-time work that provides on-the-job training and supervision/mentor. Period of employment as agreed upon but is usually no less than two weeks.

  • Internships are at no cost to you other than time spent to train.
  • Qualified and trained candidates
  • Supporting workforce development in Skagit County
  • Identifying possible new employees for your business

Job Shadow:

Unpaid Internship:

Speaker’s Bureau:


If you place a college student in a job shadow or internship, they are covered by the college’s accident policy.

If you place a high school student in a job shadow or internship, students and parents, must sign a waiver of liability prior to the job shadow or internship.

If you sign up to be listed in the EWP database, you are not committed to host a job shadow or internship. We will always ask you if it is an appropriate time for you.

The EWP is focused on placing qualified high school and community college students. In some cases the students are mature and experienced individuals that have recently completed a training program and are interested in a job shadow or internship to build their resume and build relationships as they move to a new career.

Yes – in many cases, a job shadow serves as the method for employers to determine if the student is a good fit for a future internship. Employers may schedule interviews on campus or at the work location.

Student applicants are screened by the Co-op staff, based on employer requirements; however, the hiring decision is made by the employer.

Fill out the Employer information form from the important docs and e-mail it to any of our EWP Coordinators. We will follow up with you soon!

The student is evaluated for placement by EWP staff. As an employer you are contacted to assure that

3 – 4 hours student observing employer on site

Usually 8 – 10 hours per week of student working and training for 4 weeks

Employers listed on site – contacted by educators to speak for 1-2 hours

Relationship between employer and student – developed based on needs

To better understand the EWP process from start to finish, download our PROCESS DIAGRAM (Coming Soon)