Meet Ivy Jones, Future Engineer

Ivy Jones loves to play the guitar and violin, and she used to think she’d grow up to be a music producer or studio engineer. Then, she met Wes Hutchins while interviewing through the YouthWorkInternship Program, a Durham program designed to provide exposure and experience to young people about different potential careers. Hutchins, who works […]


PROGRAM UPDATE: April 16, 2020

The Durham Youth Internship Program (DYIP) remains committed to serving our Durham youth and our employer partners.  However, in recognition of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are canceling our Summer 2020 program.

The health, safety and well-being of our youth, program partners, and participating hosts remain our highest priority. We will take this time to build our program and come back stronger than ever to provide wonderful opportunities for our youth.

Please stay safe and we look forward to your participation next year.



YouthWork has connected young people in Durham to local businesses for summer employment opportunities for more than 30 years.

YouthWork identifies organizations that could benefit from youth interns. Then, we tailor an internship experience based on specific needs. Potential youth interns are interviewed to find the best fit and prepare them through training to serve as effective interns. YouthWork also provides continual support through ongoing mentorship for the intern and serving as a resource for employers throughout the entire process.

Apply for Internship


  • Gain practical hands-on experience at a local business to build upon skills
  • Explore and research a variety of careers
  • Develop workplace responsibility and learn about workplace realities
  • Establish professional contacts for future employment and mentoring
  • Establish positive work habits and attitudes
  • Learn technical skills that will be invaluable for future jobs
  • Understand what education opportunities are available that will lead to a career in their chosen career pathway
  • Develop an understanding of the workplace under the guidance of an adult mentor


  • Gain access to an extended pool of qualified applicants
  • Invest early to get hard-to-find people “trained your way”
  • Reduce employee training costs
  • See future employees in action before hiring them, and hire those who fit your company culture and expectations
  • Develop new projects with student assistance
  • Introduce youth to their business and careers available within their company
  • Be seen as an active and caring part of the community
  • Generate positive publicity and public relations for your company
  • Build morale among employees by giving them something positive in which to participate

“I wish that I could hire our intern today. He made my job so much easier.”

Host an Intern


Youth must complete an online application and participate in an in-person interview. If selected for the program, youth then go through training before they are placed in internships so they are workplace ready. Placement is based on a variety of criteria including applicants’ interests, discoveries from the interview, skills needed for the specific internships and requirements of funding services.


All youth selected for the internship program receive training and instructions to help them transition into the workplace and prepare them for successful internships. They also are assigned a personal mentor to provide guidance to the youth before, during and after the internship.

The training covers such topics as:

  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Ethics/Responsibility
  • Information Technology Application
  • Leadership
  • Lifelong Learning/Self Direction
  • Oral Communications
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Written Communications

“I have been so impressed with our four interns. They are intelligent and hardworking, and I know that they will be change makers in the world!”


The cost to hire a YouthWork Intern is typically $2,000, but may vary based on the number of weeks and hours worked by the intern. Interns typically work 30 hours a week.

While employers can add interns to their own payroll system, many choose to be invoiced at the end of the internship based on hours worked.


  • Apply for an Internship
    If you are between the ages of 14-24 and are seeking real-world work opportunities as an intern in Durham, complete the application form.
  • Host an Internship
    If you are a Durham employer seeking assistance during the summer, complete the application to host an intern during the upcoming summer.
  • Sponsor an Internship
    If you cannot host an intern right now, you can help create an internship opportunity for a small business or non-profit agency by making a financial contribution. For more information, contact Kelli Slade at 919-540-4965, ext. 15221 or by email at kelli.slade@durhamnc.gov.


  • Arts, Entertainment & Digital Media: Provide support in graphic and web design, media research, creative development, implementation of new programs, documentation and data analysis.
  • Health Services & Medical Technology: Works as a guide, gather data through interviews and/or field observations, assist with scheduling, research and additional office duties.
  • Information & Computer Technology: Support staff with documentation, software testing, research and programming. Contribute to web development and content creation.
  • Business, Finance & Marketing: Help develop and implement marketing campaigns, take photos/video and create promotional videos, translate contracts and take minutes at company meetings.
  • Engineering & Architecture: Shadow land survey and mapping teams, assist with cost analysis of projects, work on process documentation and create contracts.


Contact Kelli Slade at 919-540-4965, ext. 15221 or by email at kelli.slade@durhamnc.gov



807 E. Main St., Building 5, Suite 5-100 Durham, NC 27701