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Catalyst: Foundation revives summer career acceleration program

Catalyst: Foundation revives summer career acceleration program

(June 23, 2021) The Pinellas Education Foundation, in partnership with Bank of America, has brought back its Summer Career Acceleration Program, which was held in a truncated form last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The eight-week program matches more than 100 Pinellas County high school students with 34 local businesses, giving the students a fully immersive, on-site workplace experience that will introduce them to the functions and responsibilities of an entry-level position.

In summer 2019, the last time the Career Acceleration Program was held, 112 students and 75 employers participated. Pinellas Education Foundation CEO Stacy Baier, speaking to the Catalyst, said the number of participating employers is down primarily because of continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, rather than lack of interest in the program.

“They had to make a decision back in the spring, before widespread vaccines were available,” she said. “And there’s also a lot of business that aren’t back to work in an office, so the concept of an intern is just not possible.”

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