EDC, UMass Amherst Enhance Economy Through Internships
The Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC) and the UMass Amherst iCons program, under the umbrella of the iCons Industry Consortium, recently joined forces to provide UMass iCons students with internship and career opportunities in the Western Mass. region.
iCons is a certificate program focused on real-world problem solving in biomedicine/biosystems and renewable energy, catering to students in science, technology, health sciences, engineering, math (STEM), and business. The program engages students in addressing real-world challenges alongside industry partners and faculty members from a range of STEM and business disciplines.
“By bringing together exceptional students and local businesses, this collaboration creates a win-win situation, fostering mutual growth and development.”
Now, with the support of the EDC, UMass iCons students majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, health sciences, and business have access to internship opportunities with local businesses, with the goal of bolstering the regional economy as well as their own experience.
“We’re excited to partner with UMass Amherst to showcase the advantages of living and working in Western Mass.,” said Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass EDC. “ By bringing together exceptional students and local businesses, this collaboration creates a win-win situation, fostering mutual growth and development.”
The iCons program has already successfully placed students in internships at three member organizations of the Western Mass EDC: the Markens Group, US Tsubaki Chicopee, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. These experiences have provided iCons students with valuable exposure to real-world work environments and have allowed them to contribute to the success of local businesses.
The Markens Group recently welcomed Bobby Murray as an iCons summer intern.
“We are thrilled to have Bobby join us at the Markens Group this summer,” said Emily Leonczyk, the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Bobby is taking advantage of the opportunity to cultivate his skills, gain invaluable real-world experience, and lay the foundation for a successful future. Bobby has already added immense value, he is sharp and enthusiastic, and our team is stronger with his contributions. We are dedicated to supporting next-generation talent like Bobby and fostering professional development in our region.”
“This partnership exemplifies our commitment to building community and empowering local talent.”
According to its website, iCons “prepares our best undergraduates to be problem solvers, leaders, and innovators in science, technology, and business. iCons recruits quality students across a diverse range of science, engineering, and business disciplines to identify global problems and find cutting-edge solutions. The iCons program positions students for high achievement in graduate school and in their careers.”
Scott Auerbach, Mahoney Family Sponsored Executive Director of iCons, noted that the program’s mission can be boiled down to three words: “add real value.”
“Our excellent partnership with the Western Mass. Economic Development Council and terrific member organizations like the Markens Group provides powerful opportunities to accomplish this important mission,” he said.
Through this collaboration, the leaders of the Western Massachusetts EDC and the iCons program say they want to pave the way for talented students to excel in their academic and professional pursuits while driving economic growth in the region. By nurturing the next generation of leaders and problem solvers, they add, this partnership will leave a lasting impact on both the students and the community as a whole.
“The Markens Group firmly believes in the power of community,” President and CEO Ben Markens said. “Beyond our association-management services, we actively engage in initiatives that foster growth, build relationships, and strengthen the region. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to building community and empowering local talent.”