SALEM—Gov. Ted Kulongoski has launched a summer internship program for underrepresented students who are considering careers in government or with not-for-profit enterprises.
The program, called the Leaders of Color internship, was developed by the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University with assistance from the governor's affirmative action director and the Clackamas County diversity manager.
This new program, with a national recruitment focus, complements Oregon's Professional& Management Internships in StateEmployment (PROMISE)program's efforts in providing government internships for under-represented students. PROMISE, established in 1989, focuses on recruiting students of color in all disciplines from Oregon schools and placing them in state service internships.
"Public service is one of the critical guardians of our democracy, and having a public-sector workforce that mirrors the changing face of our state and country is important if we want to better relate to and serve the needs of our increasingly diverse citizen base," the governor said.
The program is recruiting its inaugural class of college seniors and graduate students from universities across the country. Those selected will attend a five-dayOregonPublic Enterprise Institute in June at the Hatfield School and then complete a 10-week, paid internship with sponsoring state or local governments and not-for-profit organizations.
"The Hatfield School is privileged to host this important program," said Ron Tammen, director of theHatfieldSchool.
"Developing next-generation public managers and leaders from America's rich tapestry of citizens is absolutely consistent with Sen. Hatfield's commitment to social justice and with our mission as a school. The velocity of Baby Boomer retirements underscores the need to renew our public sector capacity with smart, energetic and imaginative professionals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences."
Leaders of Color joins a growing list of Hatfield School-based internships that attract national talent to Oregon to work for government and not-for-profit organizations on performance measurement, financial management and electronic government projects.
"As we position Oregon for success in the global economy we have to provide top-tier public infrastructure and top-notch public management to extend Oregon's heritage for innovation and its reputation for good government," Kulongoski said. "Diversity matters and it pays dividends."
Applications are due by March 1. For more information on the program or anapplication,visit www.diversitymatters.us. For more information on the PROMISE program, visit www.oregon.gov/DAS/HR/diveristy.shtml.