tech assistance

Mullen encourages Massachusetts-based technology companies to hire public school students as interns in a pro-bono campaign for Tech Boston.

The program, begunin 1998, advances high-tech career development in the Boston Public School system by teaching students about computers and placing them in internships.

Print ads, running in periodicals such as The Boston Globe, Business Week and Fortune, depict a subway line that splits into two branches. One branch’s stops are labeled “Loses interest in school” and “Takes job at supermarket,” while the other spur has names such as “Takes Webmaster course” and “Creates graphics fore-commerce.”

Billboards show computer monitor dialog boxes. One asks, “Need qualified interns?” with possible answers of “Yes” and “#@*&! Yes.”

Since the program began, it has placed 2,500 students with companies such as Cisco, Microsoft and Intel.

The Tech Boston campaign is the latest effort in the annual public-service program of the Boston Idea Group, a communications trade association.