SFMade’s internship program, YouthMade, exposes youth to the manufacturing industry through paid, 6-week internships for high school students. These youths come to us from our youth partner organizations JVS and Enterprise for Youth. This year’s internship program was successful—despite COVID! A variety of our amazing local manufactures provided opportunities for interns to gain on-the-job experience. In some cases, remote interns leveraged their existing skills to help manufacturers build their social media and online marketing channels, draft social media posts, research keywords and hashtags, conduct website and marketing research, produce website content, and create beautiful images to share on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media channels. This work was especially valuable during the pandemic, as social media-driven, online sales are more important now than ever.

Interns also gained safe, on-site experience baking cookies; making caramels; packing, shipping, and receiving coffee; cleaning and disinfecting; and organizing parts and tools to keep the factory floor organized and productive.

Here’s a shout out to Ivan, a JVS intern at Ounce Cookies, who worked on production, packaging, and eventually executing recipes independently:

“Ivan’s contribution was invaluable. His help made me realize we were able to produce twice as much in half the amount of time and it allowed me to step back from my total immersion in production & packaging.  He was a great team player and was friendly with all of the other food business team members that share the commercial kitchen space.”

We are grateful to the following manufacturers for making this summer’s internship program a huge success: