College and Career

One of the most important decisions our students will make is what to do after graduation.  Our College and Career Success work focuses on encouraging students to explore their options for post-secondary education, and provides them with support and access to tools to help them accomplish their goals.


Research from the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce indicates there are currently 15,000 jobs that cannot be filled by Hamilton County residents based on educational requirements. Additionally, the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that a major reason students fail to complete a two- or four-year college program is that “too many can’t see a clear, transparent connection between their program of study and tangible opportunities in the labor market.”

The solution? STEP-UP Chattanooga, a robust internship program for juniors and seniors in Hamilton County public schools designed to address the challenges faced by both businesses and students in a complex, changing global economy.

STEP-UP Chattanooga website

Opportunities for employers

Organizations hosting STEP-UP interns will build relationships with a pool of talented, diverse future employees while filling job vacancies and demonstrating a commitment to improving the lives of at-risk youth. Students will have opportunities to explore careers while developing work skills, as well as to network with adult professionals who can help them achieve educational and professional goals.

We are actively seeking partnerships with local organizations who want to hire STEP-UP interns. Please contact Stacy Lightfoot or complete the contact form for more information.

STEP-UP Chattanooga Employers

Let us contact you about STEP-UP Chattanooga

Opportunities for students

STEP-UP Chattanooga will recruit local high school students and provide work readiness training designed to help them be successful in interviews and professional settings. Subsequently, 175 students will be hired by area businesses, nonprofit agencies, and public institutions where they will complete meaningful assignments over the summer of 2018. Throughout the experience, students will receive support and feedback from STEP-UP staff and supervisors at their place of employment.

STEP-UP Chattanooga Students



STEP-UP Chattanooga is modeled on the nationally-recognized STEP-UP Minneapolis program, which has served over 20,000 students since 2004. 96% of STEP-UP Minneapolis supervisors reported that interns made a valuab

le contribution to the workplace and the program was a success at their company.

For more information on STEP-UP contact:

Stacy Lightfoot Vice President, College and Career Success

423.648.4443 •