Press Release: 07/13/2015

Oakland Zoo Teams up with PG&E for Year Four of Summer Internship Program

Contact:
Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130
nmora@oaklandzoo.org


(Pictured right: Kenza Hall, Oakland Zoo Marketing Department Intern via PG&E Summer Internship Program)

Oakland, CA …July 13, 2015 – Oakland Zoo teams up with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and local youth organizations for year four of the PG&E Youth Employment Training Internship Program. The goal of the internship program is to create jobs and develop informed citizens that are capable of understanding complex issues and making educated decisions about the future of our environment. Oakland Zoo’s Youth Internship and Employment Training Project will train, engage, and motivate underserved teens and young adults in Alameda County to develop an awareness of the jobs available to students with a background in science, cultivate an interest and sustain a working knowledge of these careers, and ultimately prepare students for careers in science and its related fields.

There are a total of ten interns participating in 2015, and they are split into three categories: Health and Science (Animal Care, Conservation and Research and Veterinary departments), Land Management (Grounds and Horticulture departments), and Business (Administration, Human Resources, Accounting, and Marketing departments). Young people were referred to this internship program by several local youth employment organizations. East Bay based non-profits, Marriott Foundation’s Bridges from School to Work program and Youth Uprising (YU) are two of Oakland Zoo’s community partners that helped find interns for this program. “Oakland Zoo representatives have committed themselves to working directly with Bridges counselors to create interview opportunities for young adults who are ready to work,” said Andrew Selby, Employer Representative II, Marriott Foundation, Bridges from School to Work. “In the last several years, over thirty Bridges participants have been hired at the Zoo, giving them invaluable experience and skills to help prepare them for future success. Through this partnership, the Oakland Zoo continuously demonstrates their commitment not only to youth, but the entire Oakland community.”

Daily intern activities include: animal diet preparation, habitat maintenance, guest interaction, learning about animal behaviors and conservation, customer service, office administration, garden and grounds maintenance, and landscape design. The interns must work twenty-four hours per week and participate in reflection sessions, where they discuss their on-the-job experiences with each other. The program aims to help students receive invaluable work readiness skills focusing on communication techniques, time management, accountability, team work, and understanding the importance of workplace protocols. Upon completion of the program, interns entering into college are provided $500 scholarships to cover eligible college-level education expenses. “We are grateful for Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s commitment to education and youth development through Oakland Zoo’s PG&E Summer Internship Program,” said Nik Dehejia, Chief Financial Officer at Oakland Zoo. “Through their generous funding, Oakland Zoo is proud to provide high school students with exposure to different career pathways while providing a platform to enhance their learning and leadership skills.” Interns interested in employment at Oakland Zoo also have the opportunity to be considered for hire on appropriate part-time or full-time positions.

PG&E has generously provided the funding for this program since its inception, supporting it as part of its commitment to providing jobs for underserved youth throughout its 70,000 square mile service area. “PG&E’s collaboration with the Oakland Zoo these past many years has been a true partnership which has helped dozens of Oakland youth gain unique experiences in the many facets of career experiences the Zoo offers,” noted Travis Kiyota, PG&E Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “PG&E’s strong involvement in the Oakland and East Bay Community has centered around assuring our customers are safe, have economic development opportunities, and provide a workforce and educational pathway for our young people to success,” Kiyota added.

Thanks to PG&E’s support and inspired investment along with commitment from community youth programs, Oakland Zoo’s PG&E Youth Employment and Training program has proven to be a great success and will continue to grow and expand for years to come.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.