Since last summer, Sacramento’s Thousand Strong interns have collectively worked an incredible 9,074 hours. As the first year of internships come to an end, some of these young people are heading off to college, some are entering the workforce, and some are going into their final year of high school. What I know is that all of them, including me, gained essential skills, knowledge, and a level of confidence that will open doors that may have remained closed had it not been for the opportunities Thousand Strong helped to create.
In 2017, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s office and the Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation came together with the goal to employ 1,000 high school students with paid internships in the Sacramento region. This signature workforce development program connects school districts, high schools, and students, with community organizations and businesses to complete a 300-hour paid internship. Employers range in size and mission, geography and focus, but they all have one thing in common – an understanding of the importance of workforce training and development beginning at an early age.
In the first year, Thousand Strong partnered with nearly 200 employers to employ nearly 300 students. I became a part of Thousand Strong when I accepted an internship at the Metro Chamber Foundation. I knew I wanted to join the program because I was already in the process of looking for a job, but was nervous about the idea of having to make a resume or go in for an interview when I had no experience to help guide me. When I learned about the required 40 hours of workplace training, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to gain knowledge, experience, and confidence when applying for jobs, while also discovering the right path for my future.
Through Thousand Strong, I have realized how mindful and supportive our region is. Sacramento recognized that young people don’t always have access to the tools that help us succeed and because of that, implemented a program that allows students no matter their background to have access to something as important as career development.And now, I ask you, as an employer in our region to try something new, and open your doors to shape the future workforce. For more information on Thousand Strong, please contact my boss and mentor, Talia Kaufman, at the Metro Chamber Foundation.
Source: Comstock’s Magazine