Summer on the Cuyahoga Receives Community Impact Award from Dominion East Ohio

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Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) received a $12,000 award March 2, 2011, from Dominion East Ohio. SOTC was one of twelve winners selected in the 16th Annual Community Impact Awards competition, which is co-sponsored by Dominion East Ohio and Inside Business Magazine.

Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) received a $12,000 award March 2, 2011, from Dominion East Ohio. SOTC was one of twelve winners selected in the 16th Annual Community Impact Awards competition, which is co-sponsored by Dominion East Ohio and Inside Business Magazine.

SOTC was chosen by a panel of community judges from a field of 85 entrants in a competition open to Northeast Ohio-based organizations. The award recognizes organizations that have made a positive impact in their communities. Selection criteria focused on Northeast Ohio projects that promote economic and/or social revitalization and encourage future development and revitalization, with emphasis on how the project generated positive change and growth within its targeted area. Funding for the awards comes from the Dominion Foundation which is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies.

“We applaud the outstanding efforts of everyone involved in these award-winning community projects,” said Anne E. Bomar, senior vice president and general manager, Dominion East Ohio. “In these tough economic times, they have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve, and in the communities where we all live and work.”

Bernadette Gosky, executive director of SOTC, commented, “We are deeply honored to have been selected as a recipient of this award. Since its launch in 2003, SOTC has brought hundreds of college students to Cleveland for an intensive summer experience that includes paid internships, immersion into the community and leadership development opportunities. We are pleased that over 60 graduates have subsequently returned to Cleveland for higher education and/or work opportunities. Today’s recognition acknowledges our program’s part in the on-going challenge to reverse the region’s ‘brain drain’ by attracting talented young people to Cleveland.”

Ms. Gosky noted that the program makes a demonstrable impact on the perceptions of the students who participate. Each summer, the students complete a survey of their attitude about life and work opportunities in Cleveland when they arrive, and again when the program concludes. Ratings on this survey typically rise from 20% favorable upon arrival to 80% favorable at the end of the program.

Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) is a unique summer internship program open to students of Case Western Reserve, Colgate, Cornell, Smith, University of Chicago and Yale. The program brings together 40-60 students for an intensive summer immersion experience designed to help interns explore the professional, civic, and social offerings of the Cleveland area. SOTC offers students challenging paid internships, community introductions, alumni connections, and group housing for the summer. SOTC recruits employers to post job descriptions on its website and students at each of the participating universities submit competitive applications through the website to employers. SOTC employs a unique funding model with support for the program provided by local alumni, private and public foundations, local businesses, participating universities, and generous donors.

Driven by a collaborative effort among local alumni volunteers of the respective institutions, SOTC has attracted recognition as an effective civic development initiative. In partnership with employers and community leaders, the program showcases the region's abundant opportunities to the student participants who take these positive impressions back to campus when they return in the fall. The ultimate goal of the program is to attract talented graduates who will seek permanent employment in our region.

In the past seven years, SOTC has:

  •      Recruited over 160 summer employers offering paid internship positions
  •      Secured internships for 450 students, 75% of whom are not originally from the region
  •      Attracted over 3,500 students as applicants
  •      Resulted in over 60 students accepting permanent positions or attending graduate school in Cleveland

For more information about SOTC, please visit our website at http://www.summeronthecuyahoga.com.

About Dominion
Dominion is one of the world’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation’s largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 14 states. For information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at http://www.dom.com.

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Bernie Gosky
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