Press Release: 07/01/2014

Oakland Zoo Launches Year Three of PG&E Summer Internship Program

Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130

Oakland, CA …July 1, 2014 – Oakland Zoo is proud to announce a third year of partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Youth UpRising (YU) to offer the PG&E Youth Employment Training Internship Program. This program provides an opportunity for high school graduates to participate in an eight-week paid internship at Oakland Zoo, working side-by-side with animal keepers, horticulturists, and administrative staff. The overall goal of the program is to expose students to opportunities in the workforce, allowing them to explore career pathways in the areas of zoology, veterinary care, land management, conservation, and business. Young people are referred to this internship program by the East Oakland based non-profit, YU, which is one of Oakland Zoo’s community partners. YU has been providing services aimed at increasing the physical and mental wellbeing, community connection, educational attainment, and career achievement to “hard to reach” youth for over fifteen years. “In today’s labor market, young adults looking for work to support themselves and their families find themselves competing with an older, more experienced labor force for jobs typically occupied by youth,” said Olis Simmons, Executive Director of YU. “Summer and after school jobs have become increasingly hard to access for all Oakland youth. Oakland Zoo has been an exemplary partner by hosting youth in worksites that offer comprehensive learning pathways in Land Management, Business and Health and Science.”

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 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. “It is especially gratifying to watch these young women and men develop a greater understanding of what Oakland Zoo does, all the while maintaining a tremendously high level of engagement in their work,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, President & CEO of Oakland Zoo. “I’m confident these young people will carry forward the knowledge they acquire, as well as positive momentum, into their academic pursuits and beyond. I truly believe that our interns will continue to be ambassadors for conservation and education efforts and, in doing so, open the minds of those they meet.” Upon completion of the program, interns entering into college are provided $500 scholarships to cover eligible college-level education expenses. Interns interested in employment at the 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.

Thanks to PG&E’s support and inspired investment and YU’s commitment to uplift Oakland’s youth, 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.

Youth UpRising (YU) was founded in 1997 with the mission to transform East Oakland into a healthy and economically robust community by developing the leadership of youth and young adults and improving the systems that impact them. Through their comprehensive services and core programming, they give East Oakland youth the opportunity to build positive relationships, develop new skills, and establish goals and future plans that will put them on a trajectory to success and self-sufficiency in adulthood. For more information, visit


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.