“Step Up” Program Launches for High School Students Internships

Remember the first time you applied for a job?
Most of us were a little worried and not really certain of what to say.
That’s the reasoning behind a program called “Step Up Chattanooga” which is aimed as minority students to prepare them for the workforce.

Developing interview skills is only one of the things the Step Up program addresses for high school students who were recommended for the program.
Blue Cross Blue Shield committed 300-thousand dollars and the Benwood Foundation contributed 200-thousand dollars for the first two years of the program.

TROY WILLIAMS, HIXSON HIGH SCHOOL “This is a great experience, a great opportunity, a great experience, this is a great program.”

Troy Williams from Hixson High school will likely be one of the students who’ll be hired by one of dozens of local employers this summer.

JEFF RECTOR, “STEP UP” PROGRAM “We have business leaders from across the city, across the area—come in and actually interview the students so that they can get a sense of what an actual interview feels like.”

KAILY CARR, JUNIOR AT BRAINERD H.S. “They are teaching us how to get out into the business world and learning these different skills that most adults that are trying to get jobs now don’t have, and they’re teaching us right now in order to kind of prepare us to get into the field.”

JEFF RECTOR “They’ll start the first week of June and it’ll be 6 to 8 weeks it’ll go right up until school starts, and it’ll be anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week depending on the business. They can work the intern as much as they need to fill the job they’re hiring them to do.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the employers—and here’s how they select from the young applicants.

APRIL LOMAX, BCBS, DIVERSITY WORKFORCE “I always like to tell students in addition to the academic pieces, All that is getting involved. What are you doing for the community–what are you doing to set yourself apart from those who may be just as smart and as good grades as you get?”

“Step Up” continues throughout the year at area high schools.

Categories: Jobs & Economy, Local News

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