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STEP-UP Chattanooga builds tomorrow's workforce today by connecting businesses with high school interns who will be our next generation of talented workers.


STEP-UP Chattanooga places Hamilton County working-age students in paid internships with Chattanooga companies and public agencies; provides work readiness training, on-the-job experience, professional mentors, advanced career opportunities and ongoing support. All STEP-UP Chattanooga students will be employed by companies and organizations that require them to be legally eligible to work in the United States.

STEP-UP Chattanooga is modeled after the nationally recognized  STEP-UP Achieve program in Minneapolis, which has served more than 28,000 students since 2003.  Ninety-six percent (96%) of STEP-UP Achieve supervisors reported that interns made a valuable contribution to the workplace and the program was a success at their company.


The STEP-UP Impact

STEP-UP Chattanooga helps bridge this critical gap between our talented young people and the needs of our region’s workforce. STEP-UP Chattanooga will provide young people with internships at local companies, nonprofits and public agencies, providing critical work-readiness training, on-the-job experience, professional connections and ongoing support for career and college success.

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Students Trained Since 2016


Employer Partners Since 2016


Earned by Interns Since 2016

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STEP-UP Chattanooga engages students in career and college preparation that impacts their lives years beyond the summer internship. Through on-the-job experience, professional support, and work-readiness training, STEP-UP Chattanooga interns develop the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the modern workforce.

Cultivate professional skills​ in accountability, collaboration, and problem-solving
Engage with a network of adult professionals for mentoring and support
Develop the skills, social capital, and confidence to propel toward educational and professional goals
Discover individual potential and options for a brighter future

Champion Investors

STEP-UP Chattanooga is a led by the College and Career Success team at the Public Education Foundation. We are thankful for the champion investors below who make this wonderful opportunity possible.


STEP-UP Partners

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Meet The STEP-UP Team

The College and Career Success team works to support student exploration of post-secondary options by providing access to programs, higher education, workforce opportunities, and resources so they reach their fullest potential and live successful lives. Our strong collaboration with families, schools, and community partners is integral to the success of our students achieving their goals.

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Director of Student Success

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Dr. Jeff Rector

Business Partnerships Manager,

College & Career Success

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Janice Neal

Assistant Director,

College & Career Success

D'Wauna Young

College & Career Student Coordinator

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