Across the county 40 businesses, nonprofits and organizations are committed to hiring low-income Hamilton County high school students this summer for an internship through Step-Up Chattanooga.
And the Public Education Foundation hopes more employers will volunteer to get involved.
Step-Up Chattanooga was launched earlier this spring by PEF and the Hamilton County Department of Education. The program provides low-income juniors and seniors with paid internships designed to train and connect them with employers.
This program is modeled after Step-Up Minneapolis, which successfully connected 21,000 students with employers over a decade. Ninety six percent of those supervisors reported that their students made valuable contributions to their companies' workplace.
"Thousands of those students have subsequently been hired by Minneapolis businesses — giving those businesses well-trained, local talent and providing those students with life-changing employment," PEF President Dan Challener previously told the Times Free Press. "This is exactly what we want to do in our community."
Step-Up Chattanooga has already recruited local high school students and is providing work readiness training designed to help them be successful in interviews and a professional setting.
Throughout the summer the 100 students hired will be given meaningful work at their place of employment, and students will receive support and feedback from Step-Up staff and supervisors at their job, according to a press release from PEF.
For more information about becoming a business partner, visit stepupchattanooga.org.
The following businesses, nonprofits and organizations have signed up to hire Step-Up Chattanooga paid interns this summer:
ASA Engineering & Consulting, Inc.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Booker T. Washington State Park
Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA)
Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Chattanooga Gas Company
Chattanooga Public Library
Chattanooga News Chronicle
Chattanooga State Community College
Chattanooga Renaissance Fund
Chattanooga Times Free Press
City of Chattanooga
The Company Lab (CO.LAB)
Creative Discovery Museum
The Enterprise Center
EPB of Chattanooga
Lamp Post Group
The Links, Incorporated-Chattanooga Chapter
Northside Neighborhood House
Public Education Foundation
River City Company
2nds Building Materials (Southeastern Salvage, Home Emporium, Discount Building Materials)
TechTown Foundation, Inc.
United Way of Greater Chattanooga
Vision Hospitality Group
Warren and Griffin Law Firm