StepUP, a Public Education Foundation program, presented by Dr. Jeff Rector
SUMMARY (posted 10/2)
To participate in a StepUP internship, a student (Jr/Sr in HS) must apply and be recommended by their guidance counselor. All applicants receive job-preparation training and then must interview with sponsoring companies to compete for jobs. Companies are asked to provide a superviser/mentor who also receives some training, pay minimum wage or better, and provide meaningful work for 6-8 weeks of the summer at least 20 hours per week.
Reviews of the program are overwhelmingly popular. The new assessment service indicates that while only 20% of students recognize some interest in Engineering, about 80% actually have aptitude for it and just don't understand what the work is like or are intimidated by the prerequisites such as math. Having an actual work experience helps students refine their understanding of what they like and do not, and predict where they will find success.
The nation is facing the critical challenge of finding enough skilled workers to meet the demands of our increasingly high-skilled, knowledge-based economy and fill the jobs left by retiring workers. While retirements are expected to rise dramatically, the number of young people moving into the workforce is expected to remain static, producing a significant shortage of skilled workers.
Young people are also facing an economic crisis of their own. They face several roadblocks in accessing the opportunities they need to find work, explore meaningful careers, and develop the skills they need for long-term professional growth and success.
STEP-UP Chattanooga helps bridge this critical gap between our talented young people and the needs of our region’s workforce. STEP-UP Chattanooga will provide young people with internships at local companies, nonprofits and public agencies, providing critical work-readiness training, on-the-job experience, professional connections and ongoing support for career and college success.