Howard Students Call New TVA Internship Program a Success
May 19, 2011
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is helping students at Howard School of Academics and Technology earn a paycheck and work experience that could lead to future careers.
NuQeilla Robinson, 16, and Quanisha Hammonds, 18, are completing the first year of a TVA-sponsored, electronic document processing program at Howard, a public magnet school in Chattanooga. The internship program allows them to perform valuable work for TVA without leaving the Howard campus.
"It feels good to do something helpful and have a job, too," Robinson said.
TVA sponsors the internships through its Partners-in-Education program. TVA's Power System Operations group has been hiring other Howard interns for computer- aided design work for several years. TVA records specialist Lorina Upshaw, a Howard graduate, asked the agency to fund the two additional internships specifically for document processing.
"Electronic documentation is a growing field, especially in the medical and construction industries," Upshaw said. "I wanted to do something to encourage students to stay in school and pursue a career."
The interns provide a service to TVA by scanning paper documents, such as maps and reports, into the agency's computer system. The documents then can be retrieved by employees across the company on a searchable database. The work is supervised by John Geeter, a retired TVA engineer assisting the Howard program.
Unlike other part-time jobs, the internships may also help open career doors in the future. Hammonds is graduating and plans to attend Chattanooga State Community College. If she continues her training, she may be eligible for a position at TVA after college.
"It's been a good experience and I like telling people I work for TVA," she said.
That's the kind of reaction Upshaw hopes to bring to even more students when classes resume this fall.
"I think it's been a success for everyone," Upshaw said.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of
Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities that can produce about 34,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA's service territory are below the national average.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville (865) 632-8031
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000