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First Students Enter GSA's New Summer Internship Program Call Prompts Creation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative

GSA # 9970

July 26, 2002
Contact: Deborah K. Ruiz, (202) 501-1231
deborah.ruiz@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. General Services Administration today announced the selection of Demetric Leeper and Melanie Thompson as the first two summer interns hired under the agency's new Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) internship program.

Mr. Leeper is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Thompson is a junior at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

"As an HBCU beneficiary, I have a particular interest in this important initiative," said Boyd Rutherford, Associate Administrator for GSA's Office of Enterprise Development. Mr. Rutherford was recently selected to head GSA's Office of Performance Improvement as he continues to serve as head of GSA's Office of Enterprise Development.

"I am extremely pleased with the caliber of candidates who will join us this summer," Mr. Rutherford said. "We expect to provide these students with a good understanding of how government and business work together to deliver government services."

In an Executive Order issued February 12, 2002, President Bush called upon Federal agencies to strengthen the capacity of historically black colleges and universities; to provide the highest quality education and to increase opportunities for these institutions to participate in and benefit from Federal programs. GSA's HBCU internship program was created as a direct response to the President's call.

The HBCU Internship Program falls under the auspices of GSA's Office of Enterprise Development which serves as the agency's small and small disadvantaged business advocate, providing support to GSA's procurement activities by promoting the utilization of small, small disadvantaged, small women-owned, and other small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones), and small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. GSA, comprised of 14,000 associates, provides services and solutions for the office operations of over 1 million federal workers located in 8,300 government -owned and leased buildings in 1,600 U.S. communities.