Welcome to the NNSA Consortium Internship Program

NNSA Consortium Internship Program:
An Eye towards Minority Students’ Future in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Consortium Internship Program was established in 2008 to provide a diverse population improved access to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This initiative is greatly needed now more than ever. A report published by the National Science Board has tracked a “troubling decline” in the number of U.S. citizens who are training to become scientists and engineers. Meanwhile, the STEM job opportunities are growing at a rate of “more than four times the rate of the U.S. labor force as a whole.”

STEM positions are well-paid because they require years of education and rigorous professional training. Minority populations need to be reached while they are still in high school or undergraduate school in order to ensure they have access to school subjects and programs that will help them attain STEM career goals.

The U.S. minority population is on the rise. The Hispanic population has doubled from 1980-2000, and in 2006, Hispanics became the largest minority group in the country (Hobbs and Stoops, 2002). Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of America’s population and therefore provide significant potential for growing America’s technical workforce so critical to the nation’s competitiveness. The urgent nature and importance of this issue have been outlined in many federal reports, including Rising above the Gathering Storm from the National Academies in 2007, and The Science and Engineering Workforce – Realizing America’s Potential from the National Science Board in 2008. Latino workers will continue to drive the growth of the labor force in the coming decades. This group will account for 60 percent of the Nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050 – so how Latinos recover from this recession is of both immediate and long-term importance to our economy. Federal Budget Fiscal Year 2011 Expanding Opportunities for Latino Families.

The STEM Consortium is comprised of The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES). The resources and outreach of these organizations, which have a total combined membership of 12,000 individuals, will continue to increase student participation in scholarship and internship programs in the STEM fields. These organizations also assist minority students in mentoring and professional development and support.

The NNSA Intern website was developed to make it easier for qualified undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields to determine if they are eligible and to apply online for fall, spring, or summer paid internship programs. Visitors will have an overview of NNSA placement sites and research areas emphasized there. Student interns and mentors will also gain insight into actual intern experiences by viewing profiles, blogs and video documentation of the work completed while those selected were employed by the NNSA.

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