Carranza: District partnership provides students with internship opportunities 

I just looked at the calendar.

We have a mere eight days of school left this year. Any guesses as to what our high school students will be doing this summer? With your help, a lot of them will be working.

Where? KPMG, Zynga, the San Francisco Federal Credit Union, and law firms — to name a few — thanks to the 40 organizations who are partnering with us to provide meaningful work-based learning experiences for six weeks this summer. These could be the most influential six weeks in a child’s life.

Ready for the workplace

Students enrolled in the San Francisco Unified School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways and Academies have been preparing all year to intern in a workplace setting related to their area of study. I’ve spent time with some of these youth, and they are highly motivated, and eager to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the workplace.

CTE provides opportunities for high school students to explore and access high-wage, high-demand careers, while preparing them for post-secondary education. Quality teaching, relationships with labor and business partners, and core academic instruction ensure students develop the skills needed to succeed in their post-secondary plan. Students who participate in CTE Academies are more engaged in their coursework, better connected to the school community, and have higher high school graduation rates.

Internships

During the summer between their junior and senior year, they gain a deeper understanding about the world of work and build a network of professional mentors.

Dozens upon dozens of business partners invest in our community and our schools by hiring our students as paid interns. Students benefit from the guidance offered to them, and they are better-prepared to continue their education or enter the workforce upon high school graduation.

But it’s not just about what our students get, here’s what our business partners get: it’s a terrific chance to catch up on those projects at work that never seem to get finished and a good way to develop a talented hiring pool for your industry. All this for only $700 per intern.

Learning opportunities

We want all our teens who are ready and willing to do summer work to have a chance. That’s where SF Summer Jobs+ comes in. It is a local response to President Obama’s national call to action to create pathways to employment for youth.

Does your organization have jobs or internships that you can offer to local youth this summer? Join us, Mayor Ed Lee, public and private employers and United Way of the Bay Area as we come together and make our pledges to put young people to work.

Our students need a chance to take their first steps toward becoming part of the city’s workforce.

How you can help

To offer jobs for youth at your business, visit http://sfsummerjobs.org/employers. To learn about hosting SFUSD CTE interns, call 415-379-7769 or email cardenasd@sfusd.edu.

Richard A. Carranza is the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

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