CILI Is Building an Inclusive, High-Skilled Workforce in NOLA

CILI collaborates with companies, educational institutions and students to provide internship opportunities.
CILI collaborates with companies, educational institutions, and students to provide internship opportunities.

By Makala Blake
For DiversityEmployed.com

Published December 20, 2020 at 6:00 pm

NEW ORLEANS - Corporate Internship Leadership Institute (CILI) is a newly established non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the pathways for college students within the New Orleans region to find paying, skill-building internships that lead to middle and high wage employment opportunities post-graduation. Founded by Perry Sholes, the organization has established a job board, Internship Central, for students to search for paid internship opportunities and companies to identify talent, and a program dedicated to creating a pipeline of talent from underserved communities, Tenth Institute.   

Internship Central is an online destination for students seeking internships and companies looking for local talent. Located on CILI’s website, Internship Central will house paid internship opportunities that are available throughout the region along with a resume database for employers to select talent. Additionally, the job board will include how-tos on developing top-level internship programs along with tips and resources for interns looking to gain valuable work experience. CILI is currently accepting resumes and job postings. Interested participants are asked to visit internshiptalent.org/internshipcentral to upload a resume or make a free job posting today. 

Tenth Institute, an initiative of CILI, has been formed with a mission to develop the next generation of Black and Brown leaders in New Orleans. The Institute will be an ecosystem focused on ensuring that students of color have the core skills and capabilities necessary to attain middle and senior leadership roles in corporations throughout the region through its leadership program. Students selected to participate in the Tenth Institute Leadership Program will undergo a multi-year internship and professional development experience with participating companies from the region. Tenth Institute Leadership Program applications will open on December 28, 2020. 

“CILI is the organization needed to address the challenge of underemployed local talent and the departure of local talent to other major cities,” said Perry Sholes, Founder and Executive Director of Corporate Internship Technical Institute. “It is our mission to prepare talent for the workforce needs in the region’s growing industries and to partner with companies with a true commitment to developing diverse leadership teams that reflect the region’s demographics. While there is currently no shortage of talent, we aim to improve the preparation of future leaders. In the next decade, we want Louisiana to lead the way in showing that we can develop and keep our talent home to benefit the state’s economic evolution.”  

CILI was born in response to Perry’s time with the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) in 2019. An experienced and highly involved community leader, Perry is a business executive and talent optimization consultant who creates economic value through human resource leadership. He has a track record of transforming human resource departments, improving processes, and creating a service-oriented culture in many areas, including talent acquisition, leadership development, talent management, and more. To help Perry lead this work, he is joined by a team of consultants and volunteers along with six board members - Arlanda Williams, Kwame Salter, Dr. Glendalen Williams, Jacob Evans CSP, Carla Chiasson, and Rachel Massey CMP.  CILI’s staff and board members bring a wealth of professional experience and business knowledge to the organization’s work. 

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Corporate Internship Leadership Institute (CILI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that collaborates with companies, educational institutions, and students to provide internship opportunities throughout the Greater New Orleans region, Gulf Coast area, and the state of Louisiana. The organization facilitates professional development and soft skill-building programs, coaching, and mentoring to college students. For more information about the Corporate Internship Leadership Institute, please visit www.internshiptalent.org

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