National company partners with local high schools

Showplace internships let students earn while they learn


A Harrisburg-based manufacturing company with a national distribution network has tapped into the enthusiasm and energy of local high school students to build its talent team.

            For the past five years, Showplace Cabinetry has partnered with Harrisburg High School on an internship program that gives students the complete job-search experience, from the interview through shift scheduling.

            “The Showplace Internship Program aims to enrich and supplement the educational offerings of local high schools and grow potential long-term employees,” said Samantha MacFarlane, Human Resources Generalist and administrator of the internships. “It’s an all around win-win situation for everyone involved—the student intern, the school and Showplace.”

            The students apply and interview as for any regular job, and once a student intern is hired, he or she is expected to adhere to policies and procedures like any employee. During the internship, students have the opportunity to learn a skilled trade while working on the production line of one of the fastest-growing kitchen cabinet manufacturers in the nation.

            MacFarlane said that Showplace offers the internship program to any area high school, and has some student interns from the Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls. Her coordinating instructor at Harrisburg High is Greg Ford, who runs the school’s Leap High program.

            “Our curriculum has a course called Work Base Experience that allows students an opportunity to earn elective credits for working outside the school,” Ford said. “Showplace provides a unique opportunity to work in a large manufacturing environment with the possibility of making a career out of the internship.”

            Ford said that Showplace provides daytime hours, along with excellent pay, that helps students balance school and work. Students earn the right to apply at Showplace by getting to a point in their academic requirements where they are able to do both work and school—and still be on pace to graduate.

            According to MacFarlane, Showplace works with the student intern to accommodate his or her education first, and the company allows flexibility in the work schedule. But once the schedule is set, interns are held to a standard employee attendance policy and students must adhere to that schedule to retain their positions.

The internships are open-ended in duration, MacFarlane said, with some interns augmenting their educations for as much as a year as Showplace interns before transitioning into a full-time job at the company.

            “Showplace works with our students to develop a work ethic, accountability and responsibility,” Ford said. “We feel that is as important to our students as their academic requirements. It is a valuable experience and helps them realize the importance of the individual’s responsibility to the team effort.”

            The Showplace internships illustrate the power of cooperation in building a regional workforce for a growing company.



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