For Immediate Release
Date: March 2, 2016
The City of Savannah is pleased to announce the Summer 500 program, the first city and county-wide collaborative internship program designed to meet the critical workforce readiness needs of rising senior students from across the city. Spearheaded by Savannah’s new Mayor Eddie DeLoach, and Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Bell, the inaugural summer internship program will help students gain both practical workplace and soft skills necessary to successfully join today’s workforce and secure their career path of choice.
The Summer 500 program will be made available to 500 rising seniors, from both public and private schools, and will take place over a nine week period from May 31st 2016- June 30th 2016. Students who are interested in this unique internship opportunity are asked to submit an application, which can be found online at the City of Savannah’s website at www.savannahga.gov/summer500. Students will be selected through a lottery system and will be paid a minimum of $8 per hour.
Participating organizations include the City of Savannah, Chatham County, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, and Junior Achievement of Georgia. Paul Pressly, well respected past headmaster for Savannah Country Day School and current Executive Director for the Ossabaw Island Foundation, will serve as an advisor to the program.
“Providing our children with essential workplace readiness skills necessary to compete in today’s market is a top priority for the City of Savannah,” said Mayor Eddie Deloach. “Students will have an incredible opportunity to work with the area’s major local businesses and gain access to some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business professionals around. Thanks to our corporate and small business partners’ commitment to this program, these students will kick off their senior year more energized than ever before to go after their career of choice and contribute to our society in a meaningful way.”
The Summer 500 program will include a 32 hour work week broken down into 25 working hours a week in an office or varied workplace environments and 7 hours per week being taught soft skills. Each Friday, the students will be taught various skills from curriculum developed by Junior Achievement of Georgia. This curriculum will help focus the students on entrepreneurship, career readiness, and financial basics.
Several local businesses have agreed to provide internship jobs for the Summer 500 program, giving students a chance to work in areas such as landscaping, office sales and marketing, retail, customer service, engineering, education and technology. Kevin Jackson, CEO of Envirovac, is leading the effort to recruit companies to participate in this new venture.
“Now is the time to support our youth and provide them some real life experience, a little bit of spending money, and something productive to do over the summer. We believe if we control our youth’s time, then perhaps we may see a reduction in crime in our city. We want to track these students and monitor their success as they go on to attend college or technical school and stay employed in our region. The more educated our students become, the stronger our region will be,” says Jackson.
“The overarching goal of this program is to further develop our students with the confidence to enter the workforce and achieve their dreams,” said Mayor DeLoach. “Bottom line: I want each and every one of these kids to know they are important to our future and bring value to our City.”
For more information about the Summer 500 program please go to www.savannahga.gov/summer500. The website includes the employer info sheet and application; the student requirements and application; and a contact for businesses that would like to financially support Summer 500.