Become an Intern

Our 2017 online application is open.
Application deadline has been extended to Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm, no exceptions. 
Our 2017 application for returning students is closed.
Application deadline for returning students was 
Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm.

STEP-UP Chattanooga is for current 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from Hamilton County schools. STEP-UP Chattanooga will connect 150 young people with job training and great internships at Chattanooga companies, nonprofits and government agencies.


STEP-UP Chattanooga can change your life by providing work-readiness training, great on-the-job experience, and connections with adult professionals who can support you in achieving your career and college goals. It can help you gain greater confidence and learn how to succeed in a professional environment. The skills you learn through STEP-UP Chattanooga can last a lifetime.

STEP-UP Chattanooga will help you:

  • Explore a career that interests you. We work with over 75 companies in a wide range of industries and can match you with a job based on your skills and career interests.

  • Earn up to $2,000 over the summer. STEP-UP Chattanooga interns earn minimum wage ($7.25) or more an hour depending on the company.

  • Gain great on-the-job experience and professional skills for your future. You can build important workplace skills in customer service, office communication, project management, computer technology and more that will strengthen your résumé and set you apart from other candidates for future college and job applications.

  • Meet professionals who can help support your career and college goals. STEP-UP Chattanooga supervisors and co-workers provide support during your internship and can be helpful contacts for future job references and college recommendations.

How do I apply?

Applicants complete a STEP-UP Chattanooga on-line application. Our 2017 application deadline for returning students was December 15, 2016. For newly nominated students the deadline is February 21, 2017.  For more information, contact Janice Neal at 423-668-2423 or

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Who can apply to STEP-UP Chattanooga?

To apply for our summer 2016 STEP-UP program you must be 16 yrs-old by May 1, 2017, a current 10th, 11th, or 12th grader (school year 2016-2017) at a Hamilton County school and not yet enrolled in college. You must also meet certain income guidelines. You do not need any previous work experience. Our 2017 application will close December 15, 2016 for returning students and February 21, 2017 for newly nominated students.


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. 

How does the STEP-UP program work?

  1. Students are recommended by School Counselors and College & Career Advisors to apply. Qualifications include: good attendance, on-track to graduate, positive behavior.

  2. Student applicants complete a STEP-UP on-line application. Our 2017 application deadline is December 15, 2016 for returning students and February 21, 2017 for newly nominated students.

  3. Those students who completed the application process will be contacted by a STEP-UP Chattanooga team member in early March to go over the required steps to complete work readiness training and mock interviews.

  4. Interns participate in work-readiness training in March and April.

  5. Interns participate in mock interviews in late April and May.

  6. Interns are matched with jobs based on their interests and skills and the needs of the employer.

  7. Interns are interviewed and hired by their employer.

  8. Summer interns work at their summer job from mid-June to early-August and earn at least $7.25 per hour.


What is work readiness training?

STEP-UP Chattanooga interns participate in work-readiness training in January-March. This training teaches the skills that interns need to be successful in their internships and future job searches, including:


  • Creating strong résumé

  • Dressing properly for any job opportunity

  • Communicating professionally with supervisors and co-workers

  • Responsible use of technology

  • The essentials of building a professional network

  • Preparing for successful job interviews (each participant does a mock interview with a business professional)

  • Much more!


You will be assigned ONE Saturday training date below from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM: 1/7, 1/14, 1/21 OR 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/21 OR 3/22. If you have a conflict with training dates please let us know as soon as possible.

Public Education Foundation

423.265.9832 fax

423.265.9403 phone

Chattanooga, TN 37402

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100 East 10th Street, Suite 500

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