Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee Workforce Collaborative

The Cherokee Workforce Collaborative is a united, community-based partnership created by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) to strengthen Cherokee’s pipeline of skilled workers. This collaborative was developed in direct response to the needs identified in the Opportunity Cherokee Economic Development Strategy, which served as the blueprint for the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative Implementation Plan

There is no better place to engage with the local business community and hear about the needs of existing and future industry than the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative. Workforce development is an investment in our future and the key ingredient to ensuring Cherokee remains a leader in economic and workforce development.

Steve Payne · Curriculum Coordinator (CTAE: Career, Technical, & Agricultural Education), Cherokee County School District

Cherokee Workforce Collaborative

Some of the most significant achievements of the Cherokee Workforce Collaborate include the launch of Cherokee’s first-ever high school summer internship program, the development of free internship templates for local employers, and the creation of a comprehensive database of local industry sectors hiring Work-Based Learning students.

Other Notable Workforce Accomplishments  

  • Funding approval for an interactive mobile workforce training lab highlighting the skilled professions through industry-specific training and hands-on experience
  • A new COED website marketing Cherokee’s job, internship, and educational opportunities
  • Coordination with the school district to match educational programs (CTAE/WBL) with industry needs
  • The creation of a comprehensive database of local industry sectors hiring Work-Based Learning students
  • The development of free internship templates for local employers
  • Promotion of local career opportunities through the annual Cherokee Career Expo

Cherokee Workforce Collaborative Summer Internship Program

Do you want to get paid for gaining real-world experience and networking with some of Cherokee’s top employers? Then the Cherokee Summer Internship Program may be the right fit for you! This competitive, 6-week program is open to all rising high school juniors and seniors who are interested in taking their skills to the next level. Graduating seniors are also invited to apply.


“I gained real-world experience and formed relationships with coworkers in a viable company. I now have a more refined and realistic expectation for all future jobs.”

Robbie Alden, R&D Mechanical Intern

Cherokee Summer Internship Program benefits

  • 6 weeks of paid, real-world experience
  • Welcome orientation/employability skills
  • An interactive work environment focused on mentorship
  • Early exposure to a wide range of career pathways
  • References for a job well done
  • Invaluable, resume-building work experience
  • A rewarding summer job close to home

How to apply?

The application process and internship positions for the 2019 Summer Internship Program will be posted on the COED website on Monday, February 25, 2019.  Students who are accepted into the program must have reliable transportation and attend the Summer Internship Orientation Program.

Important Dates (6 Week Program)

Orientation for all accepted students |  Friday, June 7, 2019 | Cherokee Office of Economic Development

Summer Internship Program Kick-Off/Report to Employer | Monday, June 10, 2019

Last day of Summer Internship Program | Friday, July 19, 2019


The Cherokee Summer Internship Program is an excellent opportunity to become a partner in education and invest in our future workforce. If interested, please email Shawna Mercer at

Learn more about the collaborative by reaching out to the COED team.