Indiana INTERNnet has received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to be a “catalyst for internship opportunities statewide.” The organization is charged with expanding its cooperative efforts with the business sector, education institutions and state government, and inspiring new sources of support and partnership.
An affiliated program of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana INTERNnet is an internship matching program. Launched in 2001, Indiana INTERNnet has helped more than 60,000 students and 6,000 Hoosier employers access employment tools and make connections with each other.
The new goal of Indiana INTERNnet is to see those numbers rise substantially during the course of this grant period, says Janet Boston, Indiana INTERNnet executive director.
One priority, she notes, is “expanding our existing regional partnerships and developing new ones.”
No matter the target audience, it all comes down to “increasing our message even more about the value and best practices of internships. Whether that’s further celebrating internship success stories, expanding our online presence or providing decision-makers with hard data on the valuable relationship between internships and employment,” Boston explains.
“Enabling students to test drive a career using skills learned in the classroom and for employers to see potential employees on the job are so crucial for retaining talent in Indiana.”
The organization strives to help students and employers experience the power of internships. And in doing so supports Indiana INTERNnet’s mission to play a significant role in the state’s education and workforce priorities.
“IndianaINTERN.net has been one of the best resources we have used to find interns. It allows us to quickly and easily expand our internship search to students who may never have known about us without it,” states Jennifer Fisher, culture and retention manager at Group Dekko in Garrett (DeKalb County).
“This year has been one of our best years. More than half of the students were unaware of Group Dekko before finding us on IndianaINTERN.net. For the last five years, we have found some truly amazing interns – many of which have become great full-time employees for us.”
Indiana INTERNnet has partnered with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to promote and facilitate internship matching for the EARN Indiana (Employment Aid Readiness Network) work study program. With EARN, students offered state financial aid have access to resume-building and experiential, paid internships; in turn, employers receive state matching funds in exchange for hiring these students.
Additionally, Indiana INTERNnet is engaged with the Indiana Career Council, which is tasked with adding 10,000 new work-and-learn experiences for students as part of its strategic plan.
Available internship postings are advertised through the Indiana INTERNnet web site or via career placement offices at Hoosier colleges and universities statewide.
Businesses and students interested in more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program can visit www.indianaintern.net or call Boston at (317) 264-6862.