We Energies is looking for MPS students interested in an internship turned career

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- We Energies is hiring local MPS students as interns. The teenagers will learn job skills of the various jobs offered at We Energies -- like utility engineers, line mechanics and gas technicians. They'll be able to go up onto powerlines and get hands-on experience. 

We Energies and MPS have already seen a group of successful students come through, many who are now employees. 

"It was a long road to get here. A lot of people helped me get here," said Derek Coleman. Coleman went through the designer program while he was a student at Golda Meir School. Now he is a designer for We Energies. 

The company is hoping to hire between 20 and 30 interns this year. They encouraged school counselors, principals and career planners to guide students towards the trade, especially those who may not be interested in going to a four-year college after high school. 

"It was one of my teachers who inspired me," said John Woodburn, a laborer and former intern from MPS. "He came from a blue-collared background and he inspired me. He said, 'if you can get a job right out of high school that's guaranteed to turn into a good career, where you'll make good money, then it's worth it.'"

Milwaukee police officers were at the We Energies announcement to support the program. Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said public safety goes beyond policing, and internships like this are one of the solutions to Milwaukee's violence and reckless driving problems. 

"This is where a program like this comes into play. It gives a young mind hope. It gives them something to work towards," said Chief Norman. "A skill that's transferable to the adult. A living wage type of profession. We all know when our children are not given something to do productively they'll find something to do negatively." 

As interns, the students will make $15 per hour, and that wage will increase once hired. New to this year's program, interns will also have the opportunity to be hired by contractors who work with We Energies. 

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