SFCC’s paid internship program PILAS (Programa de Internos, Los Alamos) seeks businesses and students to participate in Spring 2019

Santa Fe Community College announces the continuation of the successful PILAS Internship Program (Programa de Internos, Los Alamos) for the Spring 2019 semester, beginning January 2019. The program gives students the opportunity to work with area businesses and nonprofits to gain valuable, employable skills while earning an hourly wage paid by SFCC. Los Alamos National Security, LLC, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and SFCC Foundation funded this program.

The college is currently seeking businesses, organizations and students who would like to participate in the Spring Semester.

Internships provide meaningful work experiences for students while developing a future skilled workforce for the region. During the fall semester, 28 students and 16 employers participated, with a 100 percent satisfaction rating from employers and students alike.

Wise Fool’s Outreach and Youth Program Director Alanna Herrera, said, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with the folks at the PILAS program. Our intern has been a great asset to Wise Fool. He brings a fresh perspective to our design and marketing needs and is just all around lovely to work with.”

Thomas Click, Director of STEMopps.org, agreed, “As an employer in the PILAS program, I can say that the participation of the PILAS interns has been instrumental to the success of the STEM Opportunities web application known as STEMOpps. Because of the PILAS program we are now on schedule for an early 2019 release.”

PILAS student intern Hank Wikle said, “My internship at Fab Lab Hub, through the PILAS program, has demonstrated to me that there are non-traditional career paths open to me, outside of what I had previously considered, and I have become more confident that I can excel in a competitive work world, a prospect that had begun to seem impossible.” Fab Lab Hub operates both Archimedes Fab Lab and Fab Lab Santa Fe (on the SFCC campus), digital fabrication labs that use AutoCAD designs to print and produce 3-D (manufactured) items.

Alison Johnson, adjunct faculty member in media arts program at SFCC said, “I have been so impressed with the results of the PILAS program. It has given my students opportunities to succeed in their career goals by offering quality internships with outstanding local businesses. It has been a joy to see the students’ work impacting the community both inside and outside of the college.”

To participate in the program, employers identify a project-based work experience and mentor student interns with the skills and knowledge required to complete the project. Preferred employers have the financial capacity to hire student interns at some future point. Students earn one to three academic credits and get paid minimum wage by SFCC for 10 hours each week in their internships. Internships last 11 to 14 weeks. Spring 2019 internships begin Feb. 4 and end April 26.

Projects could include but are not limited to the following: designing a website or social media page; working at a greenhouse or water treatment center; clerking at a law firm; performing and documenting research; creating a survey for customers; taking videos or photos and posting them as online blogs; writing marketing materials; planning a project or event; working on a bookkeeping or accounting project; or participating in a technology-based project, applicable to each student’s major.

This collaboration between local Santa Fe employers and SFCC is expected to grow over time to increase the possibilities of transforming skilled interns into paid employees. The word pilas in Spanish can mean batteries. The internships connect a student’s program of study with real workplace activities, providing the “spark” that students need to continue their studies to completion.

Businesses and organizations interested in mentoring a SFCC student can contact Ya’el Chaikind, LMHC, GCDF, Internship Coordinator, at 505-428-1418 or randiyael.chaikind@sfcc.edu for more information. As the Internship Coordinator, Ya’el serves as the liaison between business mentors and students, offering support to create an inspiring internship experience for everyone involved.

Registration for Spring classes opens Nov. 12. Spring classes begin Jan. 22.


For more than three decades, Santa Fe Community College has served as the gateway to success for individuals and the community. SFCC provides affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. The college serves more than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult education programs. For further information, visit the website or call 505-428-1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.