PORT INTERNS ARE SHARPENING SKILLS TO GROW KEY EMPLOYMENT SECTORS FOR THE REGION.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — A group of bright students has entered its second week as Port San Antonio’s first cohort of summer interns. The young women and men, who will be high school seniors in the fall, are acquiring new skills as they help advance the work of one the region’s major and fastest-growing centers of economic growth.
The nine students from Edgewood and South San Antonio independent school districts are spending six weeks this summer as paid employees among the Port’s team of approximately 100. During this time, they are supporting various departments as the organization, which oversees the 1,900-acre technology campus southwest of downtown, continues attracting and growing major industries.
Interns receive a briefing on different functions and industries at Port San Antonio.
Today the Port is home to more than 80 employers and 13,000 workers in advanced fields that include aerospace, cybersecurity, manufacturing and applied technologies. Their momentum generates over $5 billion in regional economic activity each year, and the Port serves as both a landlord and strategic business development partner to those industries.
“At the Port we say with pride that we’re a place for ‘Building Futures,’” said Port Board Chair Chris Alderete. “By spending their summer working with us, we hope that these young women and men come to see themselves as part of that future. There are exciting opportunities here—all just down the street from where these students live and go to school.”
“These students bring new ideas and energy,” said Port President and CEO Jim Perschbach. “Their perspectives are very important as we continue to grow our campus as a home for technological innovation that will bring even more employers and thousands of additional jobs in the years ahead. Our interns and their peers could very well be in those new careers very soon.”
Interns join Board Chair Chris Alderete (back row, center) following a visit to the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology at the Port.
Perschbach further noted that, as a multi-faceted economic development organization, the Port’s success depends on a variety of skills. “We need great mathematicians just as much as we need students who are talented artists or are drawn to a future in sales,” he added.
The interns have been paired with different departments based on their interests, including construction and property management, information technology, finance, business development, and marketing and public affairs.
“I’m really enjoying this opportunity, since it is letting me know what choices are available to me and is helping me figure out what I want to do later on in life,” said Memorial High School student Jaleen Narvaez. “I didn’t realize that there were so many different companies already established here at the Port.”
Narvaez and South San Antonio High School intern Jackeline Trejo are supporting the Port’s property management teams.
“This is not your typical summer job,” said Trejo. “It’s professional work that helps build your experience. And what I also really like is that by working here we’re helping create opportunities for other people all over our community.”
Jaleen Narvaez supports the property management department— serving an array of different industry customers.
“Cybersecurity is something that really interests me,” said South San Antonio High School intern Analeisa Mejia, who is supporting the Port’s information technology department. “Already, we’ve helped build and program several new computers for the team.”
During the internship, Mejia and fellow South San Antonio classmate Jose Loera will also be working toward an IT Essentials certification—expanding their knowledge of software applications, operating systems and cybersecurity best practices.
Jose Loera and Analeisa Mejia support the IT department and will also receive a new certification during their summer at the Port.
“Educating our young people is a team effort that requires families, schools and the larger community to work together,” said South San Antonio ISD Superintendent Dr. Alexandro Flores. “We’re very pleased to have the Port as a neighbor and partner in this effort—providing our students with hands-on experience this summer that will also help them focus on their future plans during their last year of high school.”
“We’re very excited about all the great jobs that the Port continues to create right here in our community,” said Edgewood ISD Superintendent Dr. Eduardo Hernández. “By spending several weeks at the Port this summer, we are confident that our students participating in the internships will see for themselves that those opportunities are well within their reach.”
Jonathan Castañon works in the communications department, where he supports video, photography and social media projects.