NORTH CHARLESTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced the latest initiative in his Opportunity Agenda: “Opportunity Internships.” The Office of Senator Scott, along with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and United Way Association of South Carolina, will be co-sponsoring an Opportunity Internship Fair this spring, with the goal of encouraging and celebrating the critical pathways that lead to successful careers. Specifically, the job fair will connect South Carolina employers to students from Title I high schools, a population often unable to tap into meaningful and early access to high-paying careers.
“Opening the door to opportunity will be a game-changer for these high-potential students,” said Senator Scott. “Too often, our brightest students are shut out of access to career opportunities because of their zip code or their socioeconomic status. Opportunity Internships will help bridge this gap to both help these students realize their full potential and companies invest in the next generation of South Carolina leaders. I hope this can serve as a model for other states to create similar opportunities across the country.”
“This job fair is the beginning of opening up opportunity for young adults in high school to gain professional experience that will serve as a foundation for future success. We are excited to be a part of the opportunity internship program and the possibilities it brings to the community.” – Naomi Lett, President & CEO of United Way Association of South Carolina.
The following employers will participate in the Opportunity Internship Fair and plan to collectively employ about 50 students this summer:
- Atrium Health
- Bank of America
- Homegrown Hospitality Group
- Lowcountry Hotels
- Nephron Pharmaceuticals
“Through our existing programs, we have seen how beneficial it is to have students – especially those in underserved communities – gain first-hand experience in a professional setting. It opens minds to unlimited possibilities and leads to career dreams being realized,” said Gene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health. “We are excited to partner with Senator Scott and his team, who are leading the nation in education and personal development initiatives. Not only will this work provide meaningful, project-based learning experiences for young adults, but together we will be creating the next generation of healthcare teammates for Atrium Health and professionals in the communities we are privileged to serve.”
“We are honored to partner with Senator Tim Scott on this critical workforce development initiative for our state’s youth,” said Kim Wilkerson, Bank of America South Carolina President. “Bank of America has a longstanding commitment to supporting youth employment and leadership development opportunities across the state of South Carolina, as helping students from all backgrounds gain early work experience puts them on a path to success.”
“As soon as we learned about the Opportunity Internships my immediate response was count us in,” said Daniel Blumenstock, director of hotels for Lowcountry Hotels. “What a great idea to engage with the youth of the Lowcountry and provide them with insight into the hospitality business. Given that our industry is one of the largest employers in the state of South Carolina it makes perfect sense to reach out to students at an earlier age to provide them with insight as they make decisions for their future career.”
“We are excited to partner with Senator Scott and a group of great corporate citizens to offer Opportunity Internships,” said Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy.“These internships will provide students with the chance to dream big and gain invaluable hands-on job experience. All of our students should be able to achieve their dreams, and, working together with Senator Scott, we can help them do just that through Opportunity Internships.”
Charleston, Clover, Richland I and II School Districts will participate in Opportunity Internships. The superintendents for the districts issued the following joint statement:
“We are proud to be a part of this initiative to prepare our students for career success,” said the superintendents. “We are grateful to Senator Scott for his leadership and to these great South Carolina companies for understanding the value of investing in students of all backgrounds and opening the door to their future success.”
The Opportunity Internship Fair will be held in May 2021, and following the end of the school year, employers will begin their independent summer programs. If you know of an employer with a summer internship program who would like to participate in the Opportunity Internship Fair, please reach out to email@example.com.