Last summer, $613 million-asset KS Bank of Smithfield, N.C., partnered with the Career and Technical Education center at Johnston County Public Schools to hire its first summer intern via the JoCo Works Now internship program. 

KS Bank was paired with Angel Ponce, a Smithfield-Selma High School student who had previously shown interest in business, finance and banking. Ponce and KS Bank proved to be the perfect match. 

“We got a great student, and it has worked out really well for us,” said Earl W. Worley Jr., president and CEO of KS Bank. “I think he’s just eager to learn; he’s worked well within the system. He came in with a great attitude. It’s been a positive experience.” 

Ponce continued working at KS Bank part-time during the school year and will be returning to KS Bank this summer. 

According to Mike Tidwell, SVP, director of human resources at KS Bank, “[Ponce] actually has found that banking is the direction he really wants to go, so we’ve now got someone potentially … to be a long-term employee of the company.” 

Participating in the internship program offers KS Bank a way to engage students with local employers in the business community and share what community banking is all about.  

“We are a community bank, and we take a lot of pride in being a community bank. And part of that means we are involved in our communities,” said Tidwell. “This is one way that we can be involved and give back to our community by supporting this local program.”