Friday, May 30, 2008

Mayor Franklin and Metro Atlanta Chamber Join Forces for Student Internships

For the third year in a row, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce are calling on metro Atlanta companies to provide summer internships for this year’s class of graduating seniors in Atlanta Public Schools.

The internship project -- which helps place hundreds of students each year at more than 325 organizations in the public and private sectors -- is in partnership with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ajcjobs.

Internships run from June 2 through July 25, 2008. Companies are asked to provide 35-40 hours of work per week and pay $8 to $12 per hour. Companies that cannot host an intern can still become involved by sponsoring an intern at another company.

“The internship program is designed to provide practical and invaluable work experience to talented youth by exposing them to the business world as they work to achieve their dreams,” said Mayor Franklin. “Through our strong partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the business community, we have had a great few years, and I’m calling on the community to step up again this year.”

The Metro Atlanta Chamber has been involved with public schools for decades through the Atlanta Partners for Education, a joint venture of the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Atlanta Public Schools.

“One of the most important things we can do is to encourage young people to get an education, and to offer them real-world experience that will help them compete anywhere in the world,” said Tom Hough, area managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP and chair of the Chamber’s Atlanta Public Schools Education Committee.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall said the internships offer students substantial experience in the real world and a positive outlook for their future.

“At Atlanta Public Schools, we can always rely on the business community to embrace our students,” she added. “And offering internships is another example of the community’s meaningful commitment to education and to the overall strength of our city.”

This internship initiative is part of the Mayor’s Youth Program, which helps Atlanta Public Schools’ graduating seniors map out a plan for success after high school. The Mayor’s Youth Program is administered out of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA). AWDA assists students with unmet needs that may hinder their entrance to the training and/or institution of their choice.

AWDA has more than 700 students working in the public or private sector. In the public sector, jobs include the Fire Academy, the Police Academy and Camp Best Friends. In the private sector, students have received internships with law firms, architectural firms and engineering firms. Other contributors include the airline industry, soft drink industry, national hotel chains, utility companies, technology companies and colleges and universities, to name a few.

Some students are earning while learning. For instance, the students attending Atlanta Technical School will receive their certification as nursing assistants, patient care technicians and entrepreneurs. Also, 30 students with disabilities have received internships with nonprofit agencies.

The structure of the internship is determined by the hiring company, but should include exposure to an office environment. All eligible students have been pre-screened and accepted to two- or four-year colleges or technical schools this fall. Students will rely on public transportation for their commute.

For more information and/or to register for this program, go to or contact Pat Koch, Summer Internship Coordinator, 404.658.6883 or

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