Work-Based Learning

​We can help you find financial assistance and the right talent for your team. Contact Director of Talent Initiatives, Danielle O’Conner,, to get started.

The Chamber’s work-based learning initiative is a collaboration between Southwest Florida’s major educational institutions and local businesses that create high-quality internship and work-based learning experiences for both businesses and students. We know experience and connections are crucial for growing and retaining our talent in Collier County, so get engaged with work-based learning — where your future is our business!

Work-based learning opportunities are critical to the development of our future workforce. Below are a variety of opportunities for businesses and professionals interested in participating:

  • Career Speaker Series
    • Career Speaker Series are in-school or virtual, panel presentations planned and organized by our work-based learning coordinator and Leadership Collier Foundation Alumni. Students hear from local business leaders on their professional journey and community leadership.
  • Student and Business Networking
    •  Students practice their networking skills with local business professionals in a casual setting at a local company. Businesses can participate individually or host a session.
  • Guest Speakers
    • Guest Speakers go into the classroom to discuss their career paths, opportunities within their organization and provide advice. This gives business professionals a chance to be engaged with students and teachers in a small classroom setting.
  • Mock Interviews
    • A mock interview, also known as a practice interview, is a chance for a student to go through simulation of an actual job interview with a local business professional.
  • Informational Interview
    • An informational interview is an informal conversation between a student and a business professional who works in a field of interest to them. This opportunity supplies a wealth of information and allows the student to ask questions in a one-on-one interview setting.
  • Work-Site Tours
    • Work-site tours are exploratory “walk-throughs” at a business planned and organized by our work-based learning coordinator. A group of students learn what type of careers are critical for the business to operate and hear from your employees about their various professional journeys.
  • Job Shadow
    • A Job shadow is a short-term experience for a student to spend time with a professional to see employees in their daily work. This is a temporary (half to full day) and unpaid opportunity to explore a career of interest, and for your business to inspire future talent.
  • Internships
    • An internship is an opportunity for a student to gain professional, workplace experience while diving into hands-on projects to support the needs and goals of a business.

Our director of work-based learning is the link between businesses and students. We are here to serve as your business and community leadership navigator, connecting you to capable students and our future workforce.


Employer Benefits

  • Involvement with professional development of our future workforce
  • Access to a pool of skilled and motivated potential future employees
  • Improve employee engagement and employee retention through community engagement
  • Get to know future talent and reduce training and recruitment costs
  • Expand development of new projects with student’s assistance
  • Involvement in the curriculum development process

 Student Benefits

  • Application of classroom learning in a real-world setting
  • Develop and practice soft skills and the ability to think critically, solve problems and collaborate
  • Build a professional network and gain authentic work experience
  • Increase motivation to continue education and awareness of post-graduation opportunities
  • Enhance understanding of workplace norms and procedures

 Community Benefits

  • Creates an environment of collaboration and cooperation among schools, employers, and community members
  • Contributes to building a more productive local economy
  • Fosters confidence in the school system as practical and beneficial results are observed.

Interested in a talent initiatives opportunity? Please submit the survey below or contact Danielle O’Conner at or by phone at (239) 403-2910.

Fair aims to boost student career interest and future local workforce

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – More than 50 businesses and more than 500 students gathered at the Collier County Fairgrounds Wednesday morning for an event that is mutually beneficial to both groups.

The fourth annual Building, Trades, and Engineering Fair helps get kids interested in different careers while also helping businesses find skilled workers in the community from which they come.

Ofelia Carrillo is a senior at Immokalee High School. Unlike most kids at the fair, she knows exactly what she wants to do when she graduates.

Read more here >>

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Your future is our business. Click here to download our internship toolkit.