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Fueling innovation: Economic program for summer interns

Fuel Alabama (FuelAL), in a partnership with Innovate Alabama, is working with nine Alabama communities to offer summer programming for college students.

The communities will offer professional development, service opportunities and social events to summer interns, focusing on their experience outside the workplace.

FuelAL is a talent attraction and retention program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. The program connects undergraduate and graduate students with a region and its employers through community-building activities that showcase Alabama’s unique assets.

Interns will broaden their networks and socialize with peers through professional workshops, team-building exercises and more. With this program, FuelAL will deepen connections and position Alabama as an attractive place for students to grow roots and start their lives as young professionals.

FuelAL programming will be hosted in Anniston, Auburn, Birmingham, Baldwin County, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa.

From beachside festivals to downtown concerts, each community has proposed a summer lineup of memorable events that will bring Alabama’s summer interns together to experience and celebrate their communities beyond the workplace.

“Our 2022 FuelAL Fellowship pilot impacted 17 student interns in a meaningful way, but we are ready to scale. By partnering with these nine communities, we’ll impact hundreds of talented students across the state,” said Miller Girvin, executive vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at EDPA. “Our goal is to provide interns with personal and professional resources and exposure to unique experiences that define life in Alabama, in hopes they choose to make it their home long-term.”

EDPA will also host a Summer Summit to engage and fuel relationships among community-oriented young professionals. Interns who have participated in events in their community will be given the opportunity to sign up for a weekend with 40 fellow interns.

The first summit will be a weekend in Muscle Shoals, enjoying the outdoors, culture and
community that Northwest Alabama has to offer. Additional summits, which will engage
students as they near graduation, will be held this fall, winter and next spring.

“Innovate Alabama is excited to support FuelAL in providing a unique experience for the next generation of Alabama’s innovators,” said Cynthia Crutchfield, CEO of Innovate Alabama. “One of our objectives in talent retention is creating opportunities for native Alabamians to flourish and bring new, innovative ideas to our state. By partnering with FuelAL, not only do we give students an opportunity to grow, but we are also able to show off the diverse, thriving communities within Alabama.”

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