USPTO Launches Partnership with Urban Alliance



Millennials in the workforce have become a hot topic and companies are scrambling to determine how best to recruit them. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is getting a head start on the competition by partnering with Urban Alliance to hire and mentor high school students. Twenty high school seniors from Alexandria City and Arlington public schools will begin paid year-round internships. The Interns’ positions will have a STEM focus which provides a real-world connection to the content now being emphasized in schools because of the increasing availability of careers in these sectors.

The official launch of the partnership between Urban Alliance and USPTO took place on Monday January 12th at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria. In its second year of operation in Northern Virginia, the Urban Alliance High School Internship Program has doubled the number of youth gaining corporate work experience from professional mentors in the local workforce, including the federal government.

As stated by USPTO Deputy Director Michelle K. Lee, “We develop bright minds, like the interns’, from a variety of backgrounds… and it is our hope that the experience interns gain will be an important stepping stone in their careers.”

The event’s keynote speaker, US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, advised Interns on the ways to incorporate their skills sets, particularly with social media to not only learn, but teach their Mentors and peers to bring awareness to how innovation and technology impact communities and the world.

“Our hope and ultimate goal is that we will help young people build careers in the federal government and that we can work with USPTO and other agencies to build an even deeper pipeline to help the federal government identify, train, and hire local talent,” says Eshauna Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Urban Alliance, who adds that federal and business partnerships are integral to ensure underserved youth are prepared to contribute to the workforce and economy.

Video stream of the event can be seen here.