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Parsons Supports Los Angeles Public Works High School Internship Program


PASADENA, CA – Parsons announced that it hosted four students from Los Angeles area high schools at its Pasadena corporate headquarters this summer through the City of Los Angeles’ Board of Public Works High School Internship Program (PWHip). Launched in 2003, this 5-week program was first brought to Parsons’ attention by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in 2007. PWHip integrates classroom learning with work-based experience and exposes Los Angeles area high school juniors and seniors to career options in architecture, engineering, construction management, environmental engineering, and other related fields.

This summer marked the fifth time Parsons has supported PWHip. Over the course of their 5-week internship, the students toured some of Pasadena’s architectural treasures and shadowed engineering and project managers in order to gain an understanding of daily, behind-the-scenes operations within the corporation’s information systems department as well as its environment & infrastructure, government services, and transportation business units. In addition, they learned how to use certain design software/applications to develop site layouts and graphics/presentations, and they used Parsons’ social business collaboration platform to share ideas. Using some aspects of what they learned, they also completed a 3D modeling and printing project and presentation. The process allows for hands-on interaction and the completed models demonstrate a great deal of creativity. Parsons recently implemented 3D printing as part of its technical innovation challenge.

“What I find particularly unique about Parsons’ program is that you’re an example of—not just a summer job—but really, that quality workplace learning environment, a place that is encouraging 21st century learning skills, collaboration, professionalism, and critical thinking as well as providing them with the mentorship and support that is going to take all of them to the next level. I think it’s really a best in class,” said Erika Borg, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Director of Strategic Partnerships.

The students’ project, designing a new light rail station with a retail component, took place over the course of the students’ last 2 weeks with the corporation—a little over a week was dedicated to the creation of the 3D model. Lessons learned included engineering and planning, how to work in a team environment, the art of compromise, and meeting deadlines.

Of his 5-week experience, one student stated, “Being able to intern with Parsons was one of the best experiences of my life. I have absolutely no regrets, and I am very grateful toward Parsons, as well as the Public Works High School Internship Program for making this possible. I went in knowing very little about engineering, and I now know much more. Being the project manager has allowed me to get hands-on experience on what it is like to be in charge of a project. Although stressful, these past weeks have been a great learning experience, and I feel like this job has made me a more responsible and mature person.”

As a global engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm, Parsons understands the importance of introducing students to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and has supported educational organizations and initiatives since its founding in 1944.

“We are pleased to have provided high school students in our community with hands-on experience at Parsons. Programs like the City of Los Angeles’ Board of Public Works High School Internship Program have a real impact, and we hope that our employees have inspired these young people to become scientists or engineers as a result of their time spent at Parsons,” said Dave Goodrich, Parsons’ Corporate Vice President of Talent Management.

He added, “To our employees who were instrumental in managing and mentoring the students, thank you for your terrific work! You’ve made a difference by sharing your time and talent with these students.”

Parsons, celebrating nearly 70 years of growth in the engineering, construction, technical, and professional services industries, is a leader in many diversified markets with a focus on transportation, environmental/infrastructure, defense/security, and resources. Parsons delivers design/design-build, program/construction management, and other professional services packaged in innovative alternative delivery methods to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as to private industrial customers worldwide. For more about Parsons, please visit


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