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Program creates a channel to talent
Searching for a quality internship to support your collegiate studies? Interested in offering internships that dovetail with your company’s goals and objectives? Look no further than InternNE, a program of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development that connects college students and employers statewide, providing them with the unique opportunity to co-invest in the future.
Since its creation in 2011, InternNE.com has become a premier source for students landing plum, paid internships and businesses attracting outstanding interns. In fact, more than 50 percent of those interns go on to become full time employees in the company where they intern.
InternNE provides financial assistance (up to 50 percent per internship, capped at $5,000) for qualifying Nebraska companies creating new internships. What’s more, businesses that hire students receiving Federal Pell Grants can complete a supplemental application earning up to 75 percent per internship, along with an additional $2,500. Businesses may qualify for up to five interns per location, and 10 internships company-wide per grant fiscal year. All grants are administered on a reimbursement basis.
What does an eligible business look like? Those with physical operational facilities in Nebraska, including for-profit and not-for-profits, are considered.
How do students qualify for such internships? They must be enrolled full time, or have graduated within six months of post-secondary colleges or universities in Nebraska; or qualify as Nebraska residents, be enrolled full time, or have graduated within six months of post-secondary colleges or universities outside of the state.
Students who are employed by a business with 100 or more employees must commence their internships on or after the business’s application date and before the contract hiring period end date. Students who are employed by businesses with less than 100 employees may begin internships within three months of the business’s application date and before the contract hiring period end date.
All positions pay minimum wage or greater and provide students with a satisfactory time frame to allow them to gain valuable work experience. To date, a total of 366 companies have participated and filled 640 positions in diverse disciplines and fields, including general business, information technology, engineering, sciences and agriculture. The InternNE website has been very popular, attracting 4,500-plus registered students. Currently, 496 students from the University of Nebraska system in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney, Creighton University, Hastings College, Wayne State College and other universities and colleges are engaged in the program.
Overall, students who have completed their internships have been highly satisfied with their experiences. Thirty-three percent of the students graduated upon completion of their internships and shared information about their post-graduation plans. More than 50 percent of those graduating interns were offered full-time positions with their companies, while more than 25 percent were hired full-time by other companies.To learn more about InternNE and to apply, go to http://www.internne.com/.
Mikhaila coordinates the Intern Nebraska program and the Customized Job Training Program at the Department of Economic Development. She is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University.
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