Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and CGI Federal partner with Central State University to create a new affordable housing internship program, "The Collaborative"

Date Published: 
June 21st, 2023

From the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority's press release:

The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), in partnership with CGI Federal, the wholly-owned U.S. operating subsidiary of CGI Inc. (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A), announced the kickoff today of "The Collaborative," an immersive student internship program with Central State University (CSU), a historically black college and university (HBCU).

"Central State University is pleased to partner with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and CGI Federal to advance this important training and experiential learning opportunity for Ohio students," said CSU President Dr. Jack Thomas. "Housing quality wields a strong influence on the workforce and on students' ability to flourish and thrive. We are proud to support access to housing as a foundational social determinant of health that provides the basis for vibrant families and communities, and to bolster workforce development in this essential sector."

Starting June 5th, this comprehensive summer experience will give interns the opportunity to make a direct impact on a broad range of programs within the Columbus community. Over the course of the internship, CSU students who participate in the internship will receive hands-on experience working alongside industry leaders on a variety of projects related to affordable housing, including asset management, IT, human resources, planning and development, accounting, design and construction, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Moreover, as part of the experience, the program is designed to be an immersive experience for students so they can live and work in the community they are serving during the internship program.

"CMHA prides itself on developing collaborative partnerships," said CMHA's President & CEO, Charles D. Hillman. "This partnership between CMHA and CGI will allow CSU students to have a first-hand view of the affordable housing industry in Columbus, which will ultimately give the interns an opportunity to apply their classroom experience to industry challenges. This experience will prepare students with the transition from higher education into the workforce. This unique internship will provide an infusion of talent to CMHA, CGI, and the affordable housing industry."

Working alongside CGI and CMHA professionals, interns will participate in "Professional Development Wednesdays," where they will have an opportunity to engage with local government officials and affordable housing leaders. They will also work on a capstone project to propose solutions for affordable, sustainable housing, in line with supporting U.S. Department Of Housing & Urban Development's mission to preserve affordable housing across the nation. Students will present solutions to CMHA and CGI executives in student-led work that has potential for adaptability throughout communities nationwide.

"This partnership was an idea sparked by CGI's and CMHA's shared vision to create an immersive internship experience with an HBCU, recognizing the power of increasing representation in this field, but also having the opportunity to have transformational impact – within the community, affordable housing industry and for the students," Rashida Ricks, Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Inclusion at CGI Federal. "Through this partnership we are creating an ecosystem for the future of the workforce." 


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