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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond launched a statewide paid internships effort on Oct. 10 by hosting an event that explored ways to design paid training and career coaching programs. Thurmond also reaffirmed the state’s commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future. The effort’s goals include helping prevent youth from engaging in crime.
“We have many young people who need an opportunity to earn and learn, and that is why we are launching a statewide paid internship strategy at a time where the need is very great,” Thurmond said. “We can build a statewide effort where we can serve more students, and we want them to not just put money in their pockets but to learn about a career path that will help them moving forward.”
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass joined Thurmond at a press conference and summit on the program on Oct. 10 in Sacramento. The summit featured approximately 700 in-person and virtual participants who listened to Thurmond and guest speakers, and participated in working groups. Participants discussed leveraging and expanding funding, expanding internships and paid work experience placements, program design and coordination, wraparound supports for students, legislative and budget initiatives to support a new statewide program, and outreach and communication.
“A paid internship can be and often is a life-changing experience for our young people, exposing them to careers that might not be accessible in their communities,” Bass said. “I applaud this effort and want to continue to support the work of our superintendent in lifting up California’s children.”
Thurmond sponsored Assembly Bill 2088 in 2022 to fund paid internships for youth, and has signaled that he will introduce a similar measure in 2024. He plans to take legislative and budget recommendations from the summit and pursue them in next year’s legislative cycle.
Thurmond and partners will also contact foundations, corporations, donors, nonprofits and businesses to help fund pilot programs He will work to identify funding sources – including government programs, workforce development programs and private foundations – to help young people find paid internship opportunities.
Those interested in participating, partnering and supporting the paid internships program can email [email protected].
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