gpcc_summer-interns-news-conf-the-chamber-shalea-030308-031.jpgOn Monday, the Chamber held a press conference to launch our campaign to identify 2,000 paid internships for Philadelphia young people this summer. We’re encouraging all businesses throughout the 11-county region to either offer an internship at their workplace or to fund a position at a non-profit organization.

Mayor Nutter announced at the press conference that City Hall will provide 100 internships, funded from non-public sources. In addition, our Board chairman Joe Frick (who’s president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross) said his company will again provide 50 internships and also make a donation to fund 62 additional positions at non-profits.

With these announcements plus commitments from other employers, we already have 502 internships designated for this summer. Last summer, the Chamber’s efforts helped identify 1,049 positions, so you can see that we need your help to get to 2,000.

“I put out an ambitious goal of essentially doubling what had been done in the past,” said Mayor Nutter at the news conference. “We cannot be afraid of challenging ourselves. We are a great city and region and we have the resources to do this kind of thing. As good as we did last summer, we know that there are still young people out there that need these opportunities.”

Two students from George Washington Carver High School for Engineering & Science, who had internships last summer, talked about their experiences. “Summer internships are a very good way for teenagers to learn things about themselves that they did not know before. Interning is also a good way for teenagers to be able to do ‘hands on’ work at a young age,” said Andre Howard, a junior who interned at Stradley Ronon law firm. “All young people are talented in some way – we just need a little push and support. Everybody wants to feel that they are important and have a purpose,” said Shalea Nicholson, a senior who interned at Pennoni Associates, Inc.

The six-week paid summer internship program begins June 30. Each position costs the employer about $1,600, which includes intern salary and program administration.

To learn more about our campaign for summer internships, click here. To get involved, call 215-790-3732. To read more about the press conference, click here.

Lots of media came out to cover the launch of this important initiative. Below are a few articles:

Ambitious plan to find 2,000 summer interns, Inquirer

Nutter calling on biz to hire students for the summer, Daily News