Skip To Main Content

Success Stories

Featured Employer - Spokane County

Next Generation Zone Featured Employer— Spokane County

Next Generation Zone partners with businesses in the Spokane community to offer internships for youth in its program. An eligible youth can receive a paid work experience (paid for by the program) and invaluable employment and skills training. Employers receive the opportunity to conduct a working interview, train their future talent pipeline, and hire the individual if the experience proves to be a good match at little to no risk.

Recently, Spokane County has partnered with the Next Generation Zone for several internships in its HR Department. Sherry Barrett, Employee Development Specialist at Spokane County, is a big believer in the Next Generation Zone internship program. Their most recent intern, Katiery (Kat), was brought on specifically to focus on marketing and graphic design. Sherry takes pride in customizing a unique learning plan for each intern. Kat was given a diverse spectrum of projects and robust growth goals including; learning more about the HR business environment, learning about the department branding needs, completing the Clifton Strengths Finder to discover personal strengths, taking KeystoneYou courses, creating E-Learning graphic design templates, developing training materials with unique branding, proofing/editing, customer service training, and organizational tasks like filing.

In addition, Sherry and the HR Department at Spokane County deliberately included Kat in general office culture strengthening events. She even attended her first potluck during the internship and networked with County staff socially and professionally. She has completed the internship and has many takeaways, including an expanded professional network, which will support her as she continues along her professional pathway.

Sherry was impressed with the materials that Kat produced and was thankful for the support provided to her department. During a presentation to the Youth Employment and Career Readiness Network, Sherry enthused on her work with Kat and emphasized how well spoken and reliable she found her to be. Sherry has worked with other interns and plans to continue collaborating with the Next Generation Zone to support and train youth!

Next Generation Zone interns are a valuable experience for any business, in particular organizations that have a minimal amount of staff but big project goals.  Our participants bring creativity, youth perspective, vision and connection to the young adult community, and the business partners share their wisdom and expertise to support the growth and development of a budding professional. These partnerships celebrate the gifts that both the business and youth have to offer one another.

To find out more about how your business can participate in an internship program contact Trina Clayeux, Next Generation Zone Director,