Monday, July 28, 2008

More Than 700 Students to Complete Internships At More Than 100 Atlanta Companies, Organizations and Government Agencies This Month

For the third year in a row, more than 700 high school students and returning college students from Atlanta Public Schools are completing internships at top Atlanta companies and organizations. Last year, more than 1,000 students received summer internships in more than 200 organizations in the public and private sectors.

This program is a joint effort between Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce with the support of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ajcjobs and others.

“The Mayor's Youth Summer Employment and Training Program is made possible by our corporate partners who contribute so generously to Atlanta's youth by offering summer internships that provide them with an opportunity to grow and gain experience in an array of industries,” said Mayor Franklin. “As a result, students are better prepared for the real world, and the next phases of their lives.”

The Chamber worked with the mayor to recruit companies, non-profit organizations and city agencies to provide summer internships. In all, more than 100 organizations in the public and private sectors volunteered to provide internships, which began June 2 and ran through July 25. Organizations were asked to provide 35 to 40 hours of work per week and pay $8 to $12 per hour.

“The internships offered students real-world experiences that will help them compete in the world today,” said Tom Hough, vice chairman and southeast area managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP and chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Atlanta Public Schools Education Committee. “Education is the key to success, and in order to help our youth be successful in life, we must continue to encourage them to receive an education.”

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall said internships offer Atlanta Public Schools the opportunity to connect classroom learning to career exploration, which students say is an important part of their educational experience.

“The business and civic community has a history in Atlanta of consciously engaging in efforts that make a difference in the lives of children,” she added. “The mayor’s internship program is an example of the larger community’s all-hands-on-deck approach to educating our students.”

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. 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.

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