Rural Works!


The Rural Works! internship program supports NC State’s commitment to social, economic, and technological development across North Carolina by offering an engaging internship experience for high-caliber students who work with employers to achieve their workplace goals in rural Tier 1 counties steeped in vibrant histories, tremendous opportunities, but significant challenges.

  • An orientation training session will be provided for participants to ensure a successful and meaningful internship experience.
  • During the 8-10 week summer internship, participants will complete a minimum of 8 hours of service or engagement in the community to gain a better understanding of the counties history and culture.
  • Participants will receive professional development coaching and support from the Rural Works! Coordinator during their internship experience.  
  • Throughout the internship, the Rural Works! Coordinator as well as local NC State Cooperative Extension employees in the county will be available to assist the participant.
  • Upon completion of the internship, participants have the opportunity to attend career readiness workshops providing them with strategies for articulating their internship experience on their resume and during interviews.

The internship program seeks students with a variety of majors, backgrounds, and skills. All internships pay a minimum of $10/hour and include opportunities with private, public, and nonprofit employers in rural counties.

Rural Works! was created by a partnership between the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the Office of Outreach and Engagement, and NC State Cooperative Extension.



Students from all majors and academic colleges are encouraged to apply to Rural Works! internships. 



  • Students selected for Rural Works! internships are required to attend orientation training on April 28, 2018 or May 2, 2018.  
  • Students are also required to complete 8 hours of community service or engagement during their internship. The Rural Works! Coordinator and internship supervisors will assist in identifying service opportunities.
  • Students must also complete a post-internship evaluation.


How to apply

Application are open through April 8th.

Apply through ePack by searching “Rural Works!”

Please contact Rebekah Dunstan with questions.



Guidance for Employers Developing an Internship Program

Rural Works! Student Expectations

Internships Defined



What are Tier 1 rural counties?

A Tier 1 designation by the North Carolina Department of Commerce denotes the county is one of the most distressed for unemployment rate, median household income, percentage growth in population, and adjusted property tax base per capita. North Carolina has 40 Tier 1 counties.

How do I apply?

Apply by logging into ePack and searching “Rural Works!” in job title.

What are the deadlines to apply?

Applications must be submitted to ePack by April 8, 2018.  Employers will select interns by April 20, 2018. 

How will matches of employers and employees be made?

Employers will review potential candidates applications, conduct interviews, and extend an offer to the applicant that best fits their needs.  

What is the length of the internship?

To maximize the benefits to students and employers, internships are expected to be 8-10 full (40 hour) workweeks. In rare cases, there may be exceptions at the discretion of the Rural Works! Coordinator and the employers. Specific start and end dates will vary based on employer, but the work will typically occur between May and August 2018.

How will students find housing?

It is the responsibility of the student to secure housing. The Rural Works! Coordinator and internship supervisor can assist the student to find housing if needed.

What obligations do students have as part of the program?

In addition to the specific on-the-job expectations of employers, each student must attend a pre-service orientation program, complete 8 hours of service or engagement in the community, and must agree to participate in a post-interview evaluation.

What obligations do employers have as part of the program?

Each employer will submit a job description outlining the expected tasks and duties of the internship, as well as their overall goals for the internship, specific subject matter, and technical skills required. During the course of the internship, employers must agree to provide each student a minimum of 8 hours of compensated time to conduct or participate in a community engagement activity outside of their job to deepen their understanding of the community. Employers must also agree to participate in an evaluation of the program.

What support will be available to students outside of their employer during the internship?

The Rural Works! Coordinator will be available to provide support to the student throughout the internship experience. In addition, each student will have the name of the county extension agent as a local contact.


Contact Information

Rebekah Dunstan