Colorado Mountain College Salida Selects Maxwell as Corporate Internship Coordinator

After 14 years at Salida High, Fred Maxwell is heading to Colorado Mountain College to connect high school students with local businesses.

Fred Maxwell, who has experience teaching and coaching at Salida High School and as an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Mountain College, is uniquely prepared for his new job.

Fred Maxwell is the new Corporate Internship Coordinator at CMC Salida.

Since August 1, he has combined his background to become CMC Salida’s full-time Corporate Internship Coordinator.

“Fred’s position is really focused on CEPA students and building a really strong partnership between CMC, high school students and local businesses. “Building partnerships between students and local businesses is the primary focus of Fred’s role,” said Rob Simpson, CMC Salida’s Associate Dean of Academics and Student Affairs.

Maxwell comes from diverse backgrounds, near and far. In Oregon, he taught experiential wilderness education before he was 14 with the Salida School District. Maxwell said before that some of his previous jobs included a mountain bike guide and a forest firefighter, where he worked in a rapid-fire team as well as a helicopter rappel team.

“Over my past 14 years of teaching and coaching experience, I’ve realized how much all of my work experiences in my life have made me the person I am now,” Maxwell said. “Each work experience has added perspective that allows me to deepen my connection to myself and my current work. I am excited to help students create their own experiences at a young age through experiential learning in the middle of work, which will allow them to better understand their choice of career, their learning at school and, essentially, who they think they are.

Students and local businesses

According to a January 2022 US News & World Report article, nationwide, work placements among high school students are becoming more prevalent. Once seen as a resume builder for college students, internships offer young college students the chance to step out of the high school bubble to see what adult life is like. Students can also learn valuable career skills to decide if a certain career path is right for them. At Salida, that means high school students can try an internship at a construction company, for example, or a doctor’s office to see if those career paths might be suitable.

Simpson said CMC has been running the internship program for two years with local companies hosting interns. Former companies involved in the program included High Country Bank, Anderson Law Group and First Street Family Health. The students also completed internships in a kindergarten and in a veterinary clinic.

Now, Maxwell is looking for a wide range of local businesses interested in providing high school students with new experiences as interns. He is particularly interested in businesses in the construction trades: contractors, carpenters, plumbers and electricians, etc. as well as the healthcare industry.

Company internships last for one semester and last about 100 hours, or about seven hours a week. They earn both high school and college credits during their internship.

If you and your company are interested in CMC Salida’s Corporate Internship Program, contact Fred Maxwell, fmaxwell@coloradomtn.edu.

Terry West
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