High School Internship Program
In 2011, at the suggestion of one of our Plant Operators, American Bottoms started a high school internship program. Every summer since 2011, American Bottoms has hired two new high school graduates, one from East St. Louis and one from Cahokia. School faculty recommend students who’ve shown academic promise, a good work ethic, who are college bound, and at least 18 years old.
During this summer-long paid internship, graduates work directly with Plant Operators to learn the operations of the plant and are also exposed to the Laboratory and Maintenance departments. Intern duties consist of anything from helping with plant processes, to running the belt filter presses, to accepting hauled wastewater loads.
You might ask yourself, “Why are we doing this? What’s in it for American Bottoms?” Simple! Our goal is to give back to our community, by providing local students with the knowledge and understanding of how a Wastewater Treatment Plant operates, and how important this is to our environment. We expect them to take this knowledge back into the community and feel proud of what they’ve done here. We also strongly believe that it’s important to support our up-and-coming local work force by giving real work experience, encouraging open discussions with anyone in the plant, and exposing them to a variety of possible career paths they may never have dreamed of before.
College Internship Program
Since 2004, American Bottoms has selected promising college students for hands-on engineering and science Summer Internships at our plant. Here, interns have the opportunity to put their academic achievements to practical use while at the same time doing meaningful work for our company. These are paid positions that last until the intern is ready to return to school…better and more informed by this real world application. Recruiters look for candidates with just this kind of job experience so participation in this program sets them ahead of other candidates vying for the same position.
Engineering interns typically manage Operation and Maintenance projects and support the Plant Engineers in their daily activities. The projects include small equipment upgrades and routine maintenance projects. The interns will supervise the projects from the planning stage all the way through to construction. Some examples of these projects are pump upgrades, lighting replacement/upgrades, concrete repairs, clarifier and thickener coating, and designing equipment to improve day to day processes. Science related projects, which can also be assigned to engineer interns, include process and lab related operations. In the past, interns have looked into lab procedure development, chemical use for the belt filter presses and other areas, and monitoring the biology within the plant.