Principle 5 of the cooperative principles, Education, Training, and Information states, “Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”
NOVA Web Development was founded in large part on a desire to serve this principle, which we consider a fundamental part of “helping to build the world we want to live in”, a world with educational opportunity and economic empowerment for all.
When Kevin and Jeff founded NOVA Web Development back in 2012, providing training and a pathway to real work experience for students was a primary motivation. Both career-long education workers, they shared a passion for teaching and learning, as well as for software freedom, and combined these passions to start the coop.
NOVA Web Development has been hosting interns in apprenticeship programs ever since. Most of these interns are students from the dual-enrolled high school program where Jeff teaches.
Types of Internships
1. Arlington Tech Capstone Interns: School year (September to June) long internships connected with the Arlington Tech Senior Capstone Experience (https://careercenter.apsva.us/capstone/). Goal is to have them contribute to NOVA Web while working toward becoming career ready as entry level IT professional.
2. Arlington Public School PRIME Interns: Month long Summer (July) internship for gifted Juniors and Seniors of Arlington Public Schools.
3. Community Interns: (Note - this is our most important form of apprenticeship, but we have a long way to go in giving it a more collective, formal definition. We should learn from the practice of other coops, and agree together on a process that allows us to use this to help recruit and train new members).