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August 28, 2007

USDA Rural Development Helps Local Students With Career Development

As “Summer Vacation 2007” comes to an end, four University of Wisconsin students will return to their studies enriched with employment experiences and new skills gained from their summer internship with the federal government.

Rural Development, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, provided the opportunity under their Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). While the appointments are on a temporary basis and the jobs may or may not be related to their academic field, the benefits to both the students and the employer are priceless.

According to Frank Frassetto, Rural Development State Director, “The STEP employment program creates opportunities for young people needing work experience and, at the same time, gives Rural Development a chance to identify and encourage bright and able young individuals to consider federal employment as a viable career choice.”

Matthew MakiMatthew Maki of Spooner currently attends the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and plans to graduate in December 2009 with a major in Business Finance. As one of the students who participated in the STEP program, he served his internship at the agency’s Area Office in Spooner. Matthew’s experience encompassed the entire spectrum of operation of the Agency’s Area Office, including loan and grant making in their Single Family Housing programs, property inspections of their multi family housing portfolio, outreach activities including attending city council meetings, and promotion of housing and business loan programs.

Xia YangXia M. Yang of White Bear Lake MN also attends the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, with plans to graduate in May 2008 with a major in Business Management. Xia served her internship at the agency’s Area Office in Menomonie, with her primary focus on homeownership loan programs for individuals, and some exposure to water and waster water facilities programs for communities. Xia had a rewarding experience during June Homeownership Month, donating her time and construction skills for a day along with numerous other Rural Development employees from across the State, to help bring a home to completion for a Self Help Housing group member in DePere.

“Both Matthew and Xia have been tremendous assets to Rural Development, not only for the help and knowledge they provided but more importantly for the talent and enthusiasm they brought to the workplace”, said Frassetto. “I am confident that Matthew and Xia, and each of the other participating students, will return to their studies this fall with a fresh perspective and new tools that will help them reach their career goals,” he continued.

-Source USDA, Rural Development