Skip to content

Emerging Leaders Internship program launches company recruitment for 2021

Emerging Leaders

What if the leaders of our city reflected the people who live here?

The Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) program matches recent graduates and college students of color with paid internships at top companies throughout the Portland Metro area. ELI is now accepting company commitments for their summer 2021 program.

Since 2016, ELI has partnered with 100+ companies and placed participants into nearly 400 internships, with many successfully transitioning into full-time roles. TAO member companies consistently participate as intern host companies, including Jama Software, CrowdStreet, Portland General Electric, and Prosper Portland, among others.

ELI strives to foster inclusive and quality workplaces in partnership with company partners and provide opportunities for Emerging Leaders of Color to build their self confidence in the workplace, enhance their skill development and professional portfolio, and increase their professional network.

The program’s early success has created high demand from students, sharply outpacing supply of internships. With this wealth of talented students, ELI sees huge opportunity to connect them with companies that are hungry to diversify their workforce. Tech internships and candidates compose a significant portion of ELI’s candidate pool—17% in 2020.

In 2018, ELI launched  additional programming, called ELI Tech, to serve interns pursuing careers in the technology field. ELI Tech participants receive formal mentoring from established professionals in the industry, plus the opportunities for growth, training, and networking needed to land a job, all designed specifically for a career path in tech. Since the pilot year in 2018, 73 interns have participated in ELI Tech.

Returning ELI Tech intern Christine Wong has been a part of each ELI cohort from 2018-2020 as a software developer. “Throughout my internship experiences, I have learned that people at companies do value my skills and knowledge, which is something that was hard for me to be confident in,” she said. “I have learned so much, not just about the technical and programming side of things, but also the work environment and culture.”

ELI 2021
ELI is recruiting company partners to host Emerging Leaders like Christine at their organization for summer 2021, now through January 13.

If your organization is looking for talent that reflects the rich diversity of our community, learn more at and submit an interest form.

Emerging Leaders also runs a formal mentoring program to support underrepresented groups and those with barriers to employment who seek careers in the technology and healthcare industries by matching them with established professionals to engage in a formal mentoring relationship. Learn more about Emerging Leaders Mentoring and become a mentor at

Share this post

More posts

Untitled design (27)

How to Power Positive Patient and Staff Experiences with Cloud Communications

HDR MKTG 2193833 Tech Job Loss 230215 v1

First Tech is here to help you prepare for job uncertainty in the tech industry


Two Things We’re Getting Wrong About Remote Work