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Pollution Prevention (P2) Internships: Getting Started - Scope of the Program
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Getting Started - Scope of the Program
Recruiting Students
Recruiting Internship Clients
Technical Assistance and Support
Internship Tasks
Student Training
Program Costs
Measuring the Impact of the Internships
Where to go for Help
Complete List of Links

The overall goals of most P2 internship programs are to prevent industrial, commercial, or institutional sources of pollution while fostering students' education and practical experience. Clearly defining the objectives and scope of a P2 internship program are critical to its success. Based on the experience of successful P2 internship programs, managers and staff should start their initiative by defining and clarifying the objectives and goals of the program (e.g., pollution prevention, cost savings/economic development, work experience), as well as the steps necessary to accomplish them. For example, the New Hampshire P2 Internship Program (P2I), established by EPA Region 1-New England, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), and the University of New Hampshire (UNH), states that the program's main goal is to reduce or eliminate risk, waste, and pollution, while saving the participating host companies money. The mission of the Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program's (RETAP) P2 Internship Program in Michigan is to provide companies with technical assistance to implement P2 while at the same time providing practical educational opportunities to Michigan college students. P2 RETAP specifically lists the goals of their internship program, which include waste reduction.

Staff that are initiating an internship program also need to assess the available program resources, including government, university, and company partners/sponsors; staff time and support; and program funding.

Developing effective strategies for recruiting students, selecting host companies that have an interest in P2 and will commit appropriate time and resources, and partnering with P2 technical assistance and service providers to support and "mentor" the interns are critical to the effectiveness of these programs. Most P2 internships are geared towards college-level students, which is the main focus of this Topic Hub. For example, programs in such states as Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and New Hampshire are focused on undergraduate students, particularly engineering students.

Deciding on the types of deliverables, if any, that will be produced at the end of the internship or throughout (e.g., progress reports, recommendations, final report, oral presentation, case study, and measures) is important. Deciding what will happen with the company and/or project once the internship has been completed is also an important factor as this may contribute to the results that are reported.

Last Updated: 12/23/08


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Pollution Prevention (P2) Internships Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
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Hub Last Updated: 10/8/2013