United Way pilots new internship program for Detroit students

Organization tapped among four selected nationwide for internship pilot.

DETROIT - Following a competitive national application process, United Way for Southeastern Michigan has been selected to pilot one of four locally-sponsored NAF Future Ready Labs in the country. Earlier today, the organization officially launched its pilot on the campus of Wayne State University. United Way’s lab will offer students opportunities to participate in high-quality paid internships. Unlike traditional one-to-one internships, multi-week experiences will be offered to upwards of 25 students who will be able to apply classroom skills while learning what it takes to succeed in life.

NAF Labs compliment United Way’s College and Career Pathways (CCP) initiative, part of the organization’s Education impact strategy along with Health & Basic Needs, and Economic Prosperity. The CCP initiative currently supports the curriculum at 10 Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) high schools to better ensure students graduate prepared for college and/or a career. The Labs will enhance the CCP experience with an innovative solution toward closing the internship gap.

Working in partnership with DPSCD, business partners, and NAF, students will participate in an internship experience with comprehensive structure. The interns will also complete a project of value for the business sponsors in a collaborative team-based environment, participate in skill-building workshops, and connect with professionals who may also serve as mentors. To further enhance the experience United Way will assemble an advisory board comprised of business professionals and community leaders. The advisory board will support development of workforce talent in high schools such that students are better prepared for a variety of industries post- graduation.

United Way has partnered with JOURNi, a non-profit dedicated to equipping communities with the skills and know-how to jump start local economies, and local agency Strategic Community Partners offering additional technical assistance, to support the pilot.

In addition to United Way’s NAF Lab pilot in Wayne County, other lab pilots are also expected to lunch across the nation in the following locations:
• Harford County, Maryland
• Cabarrus County, North Carolina
• Orange County, Florida

For more information about United Way for Southeastern Michigan and its impact strategies, visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.
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