City Hall has launched a six-week information technology internship program designed to train local youth for a career in high tech.

Santa Monica’s Youth Technology Program will give 12 students the chance to learn first-hand the computer skills necessary for success and experience the challenges of launching a startup.

Coloft, a local business incubator, will provide support, city officials announced Tuesday.

“This program will connect local youth with their government and provide them with skills they need for jobs in the local tech economy,” said Jory Wolf, chief information officer for City Hall. “With the tech sector rapidly developing into one of the most important segments of our local economy, what better way to sustain it than to grow our own local tech workforce?”

Graduating seniors who live in Santa Monica are encouraged to apply online at www.smgov.net/youthtech. The deadline is May 20 for consideration in the 2012 summer program.

Students selected will be invited back the following summer after their first year in college for an internship opportunity with a local tech company.

The Youth Technology Program will offer experience in the following areas:

• Municipal government operations

• Enterprise technology in the public sector

• Strategies for startups

• Venture capital firm decision making

• Intellectual property rights

• Business risks

• Team building and collaboration

• Web development

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