Cooperative Work Experience: For Employers

Students doing construction projects
Instructor with students
Students doing construction projects

Build Your Workforce

Cooperative Education is a term for an educational partnership between a career and technical education center and an employer in the community.  In Co-op settings, employers can start the process of attracting high-quality recruits to their businesses, and students can learn valuable information and habits for success in post-secondary education or the workplace. Cooperative education generally falls into one of three types:

  • Job Shadows: Short visits to a company in the career sector a student is interested in. It’s a chance to explore various aspects of a career path as well as to explore actual companies in our area. Job shadows often lead to other work-based learning opportunities.
  • Career Work Experience (CWE): An unpaid internship providing a more in-depth look at a company, students begin to perform some of the tasks and apply skills learned in the classroom. These are intended to be educational placements and must last fewer than 30 hours. School insurance coverage applies to students in internships or job shadows.
  • Co-op: As short as a week or as long as a semester, students learn and earn credit as a paid employee. Co-op students often go right into full time employment after graduation or college/post-secondary training. Employers are responsible for complying with all federal and state employment laws, including workman’s compensation insurance coverage.

All forms of Cooperative Education are supervised by the Hannaford Career Center Co-op Coordinator, who must hold a Vermont Educator’s license as a Work-based Learning Coordinator and receive training in the legal, professional, organizational, and educational foundations for coordinating successful Co-op placements. HCC’s Co-op Coordinator is Len Schmidt, and he can be reached at 802-382-1071 or If you would like someone to contact you about a possible Cooperative Education placement with your organization, please click here.

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