James Leatherman and Kris Wheeler

Filmmaker Kris Wheeler and James Leatherman, barista and roastery intern at Alma Coffee.

The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED), in partnership with the Cherokee County School District, has announced the launch of the Third Annual Cherokee Summer Internship Program for high school juniors and seniors. This immersive, six-week paid internship program will run from June 8 – July 17.

“The Cherokee Summer Internship Program challenges students to apply classroom knowledge to the real-world,” said COED Chairman Marshall Day. “Through this interactive program, students are able to work one-on-one with Cherokee-based employers and offer their unique talents to the workplace.”

COED launched the Cherokee Summer Internship Program in 2018 to cultivate local talent and raise awareness of Cherokee’s diverse, high-quality career opportunities. Since then, the program has earned a reputation as a model for regional workforce development with recent articles in the University of Georgia’s Outreach Magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Award-winning filmmakers Kris Wheeler and Patrick Sheehan also teamed up with COED to produce two short documentary-style videos capturing the program’s impact on James Leatherman, Barista/Roastery Intern at Alma Coffee, and Robbie Alden, fabrication apprentice at Awnex, Inc. To watch their stories, visit: www.cherokeega.org/internship.

For the past two years, Canton-based aerospace manufacturer and summer internship program employer Universal Alloy Corp. has offered a wide variety of internships ranging from IT and accounting to production support.

Kieran Black

Kieran Black

Last summer, UAC hired 2019 Etowah High School graduate Kieran Black as an IT/Help Desk Intern. During the program, Black worked alongside UAC’s IT team to build computers, manage databases, develop code, and test UAC’s virtual reality training software.

“Kieran broke the mold of young professionals,” said UAC Global Director of Information Technology and Intern Supervisor Matt Ringer. “To have a high school student provide instant value and bring ideas to the table is something special.”

Currently a freshman at Georgia Tech studying Computer Science, Black represents one of the internship program’s greatest success stories. “The Cherokee Summer Internship Program has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.”

Students accepted into the program will receive critical soft skills training as part of COED’s Cherokee Summer Internship Program orientation, which features sessions on financial literacy, workplace safety, and communications.

Interested students can apply and learn more about available positions by visiting www.cherokeega.org/internship. Applicants are encouraged to check the COED website periodically for updates as additional internships will become available over the coming months.

Applications will be accepted until positions are filled or the program’s deadline May 21.

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