Southeast Iowa could benefit from a new internship program being offered through Iowa State University.
Rising Star is a partnership between the university's College of Design, College of Human Sciences and Extension and Outreach.
The 3-year pilot program will start out in the southeast and northwest corners of the state.
Cathann Kress is Vice President for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
She says Rising Star will differ from the convention internship model where a student is matched with a business or program.
Instead, a team of three ISU students, with differing backgrounds and experiences, will come together to work on a project selected by regional professionals.
"We think it is kind of a win-win for everybody," says Kress. "The students get a great experience in the real world and working on a team, which research is telling us is more and more important for the future world of work. Our extension professionals get some great talent to help them put together a plan and local citizens get to take advantage of both the plan and its implementation."
The year one project in Lee, Des Moines, Henry & Louisa Counties will be growing the local foods movement.
Kress says the application period is now open at Iowa State University. She hopes to announce the members of the teams before the Thanksgiving holiday.
She says those selected will spend this spring learning about the region they will be working in during the summer. The plan developed would then be implemented in the fall of 2014.
Kress says a team will be together for one year before a new team is selected to take on a new project.
The goal is to eventually expand the program into every Extension region in Iowa and to additional colleges within Iowa State University.
Kress says the idea for Rising Star came from southeast Iowa Extension Director Bob Dodds.