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Section 122.177 | Career exploration internship program.

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(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Business" means a sole proprietorship, a corporation for profit, or a pass-through entity as defined in section 5733.04 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Career exploration internship" means a paid employment relationship between a student intern and a business in which the student intern acquires education, instruction, and experience relevant to the student intern's career aspirations.

(3) "Student intern" means an individual who, at the time the business applies for a grant under division (B) of this section, meets both of the following criteria:

(a) The individual is entitled to attend school in this state.

(b) The individual is either between sixteen and eighteen years of age or is enrolled in grade eleven or twelve.

(B) There is hereby created in the development services agency the career exploration internship program to award grants to businesses that employ a student intern in a career exploration internship. To qualify for a grant under the program, the career exploration internship shall be at least twenty weeks in duration and include at least two hundred hours of paid work and instruction in this state. To obtain a grant, the business shall apply to the development services agency before the starting date of the career exploration internship. The application shall include all of the following:

(1) A brief description of the career exploration internship;

(2) A signed statement by the student intern briefly describing the student intern's career aspirations and how the student intern believes this career exploration internship may help achieve those aspirations;

(3) A signed statement by a principal or guidance counselor at the student intern's school or, in the case of a home schooled student, an individual responsible for administering instruction to the student intern, acknowledging that the employment opportunity qualifies as a career exploration internship and expressing intent to advise the student intern as provided in division (E) of this section;

(4) The name, address, and telephone number of the business;

(5) Any other information required by the development services agency.

(C)(1) The development services agency shall review and make a determination with respect to each application submitted under division (B) of this section in the order in which the application is received. The agency shall not approve any application under this section that is received by the agency more than three years after the effective date of H.B. 107 of the 130th general assembly or that was submitted by a business that does not have substantial operations in this state. The agency may not otherwise deny an application unless the application is incomplete, the proposed employment relationship does not qualify as a career exploration internship for which a grant may be awarded under this section, the business is ineligible to receive a grant under division (D)(1) of this section, or the agency determines that approving the application would cause the amount that could be awarded to exceed the amount of money in the career exploration internship fund.

(2) The agency shall send written notice of its determination to the applicant within thirty days after receiving the application. If the agency determines that the application shall not be approved, the notice shall include the reasons for such determination.

(3) The agency's determination is final and may not be appealed for any reason. A business may submit a new or amended application under division (B) of this section at any time before or after receiving notice under division (C)(2) of this section.

(D)(1) In any calendar year, the development services agency shall not award grants under this section to any business that has received grants for three career exploration internships in that calendar year. The agency shall not award a grant to a business unless the agency receives a report from the business within thirty days after the end of the career exploration internship or thirteen months after the approval of the application, whichever comes first, that includes all of the following:

(a) The date the student intern began the internship;

(b) The date the internship ended or a statement that the student will continue to be employed by the business;

(c) The total number of hours during the internship that the student intern was employed by the business;

(d) The total wages paid by the business to the student intern during the internship;

(e) A signed statement by the student intern briefly describing the duties performed during the internship and the skills and experiences gained throughout the internship;

(f) Any other information required by the agency.

(2) If the agency receives the report and determines that it contains all of the information and the statement required by division (D)(1) of this section and that the career exploration internship described in the report complies with all the provisions of this section, the agency shall award a grant to the business. The amount of the grant shall equal the lesser of the following:

(a) Fifty per cent of the wages paid by the business to the student intern for the first twelve months following the date the application was approved;

(b) Five thousand dollars.

(E) The student intern and the principal, guidance counselor, or other qualified individual who signed the statement described in division (B)(3) of this section shall meet at least once in the thirty days following the end of the career exploration internship or in the thirteenth month following the start of the career exploration internship, whichever comes first. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the student intern's experiences during the career exploration internship, consider the practical applications of these experiences to the student intern's career aspirations, and to establish or confirm goals for the student intern. If practicable, the meeting shall be in person. Otherwise, the meeting may be conducted over the telephone.

(F) A business that receives a grant under this section may submit a new application under division (B) of this section for another career exploration internship with the same student intern. Such an application does not have to include the statements otherwise required by divisions (B)(2) and (3) of this section.

(G) Annually, before the seventh day of January until the January of the third year that follows the year that includes the effective date of H.B. 107 of the 130th general assembly, the development services agency shall compile a report indicating the number of career exploration internships approved by the agency under this section, the statements issued by the student interns under divisions (B)(2) and (D)(1)(e) of this section, the number of student interns that continued employment with the business after the termination of the career exploration internship, and the total amount of grants awarded under this section. The report shall not disclose any student interns' personally identifiable information. The agency shall provide copies of the report to the governor, the speaker and minority leader of the house of representatives, and the president and minority leader of the senate.

(H) The development services agency may adopt rules necessary to administer this section in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(I) The career exploration internship fund is hereby created in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of a portion of the proceeds from the upfront license fees paid for the casino facilities authorized under Section 6(C) of Article XV, Ohio Constitution. Money in the fund shall be used by the development services agency to provide grants under this section.

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