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New summer program helping get more young people into workforce

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 21:27:59-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — A new program rolled out this summer to help get more young people into the workforce.

Through the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation's "Find Your COS" program, new pilot program "Hello Colorado Springs" will introduce paid summer interns to new career opportunities, and life in the Pikes Peak Region.

36 young adults from 21 states and 13 universities have traveled to Colorado Springs to intern for six local companies. Among them are Bluestaq, Altia, Kratos, Microchip Technology, Bigs Crawford, and UCHealth.

"We love it. The altitude was a bit of a challenge, but we've gotten use to it. My roommates and I have gotten to explore Pikes Peak, drive around the area, and go to different events. It is just so lovely to look outside the window and see the mountains everyday. It is something that you don't get out in the cornfields," said Tessa D'Souza, Space Defense Intern for Kratos.

D'Souza is use to the rolling hills in Kentucky. She gets to call Colorado Springs home for the next two months.

"I knew that I would be interning at Kratos. The company reached out to me about this opportunity. The other interns and I registered for the Hello Colorado Springs program through Kratos. We've really enjoyed it, and all of the fun things that come along with it," D'Souza. "I am learning about professionalism, how to interact with people, and what the space industry looks like. Kratos prepares us well to go into the industry."

Summer interns will participate in 13 professional and social development opportunities, including work on a social impact project. They'll also get the chance to go to sporting and theatre events, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and more.

"We really want them to find the personality and joy of Colorado Springs. If they fall in love with the city then that is going to keep them in our workforce. They are going to see this as their community and home and they'll want to stay," said Camille Lavon, Special Project Manager, Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.

Lavon expects some of the interns to be absorbed into the workforce immediately.

"Some of these interns are 18-34. Some of them, we may retain tomorrow. For others, they'll go back to college, finish their degree programs, and likely come back to Colorado Springs and make it their home," said Lavon.

"Coming to Colorado Springs, I need it was a popping place to be. However, being here and being a part of the Hello Colorado Springs program has solidified that and made my Colorado Springs experience very special. I'll definitely consider coming out here when I apply for jobs," said D'Souza.

The chamber partnered with Colorado College to provide the interns with affordable housing. They'll be able to stay in one of two dorms downtown for only $800.

Hello Colorado Springs will be an annual summer program. Anyone interested in the Hello Colorado Springs program can visit this website.