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The Importance of Internships in Regional Economic Development

December 3rd, 2018

Program Gets Us Closer to Reaching Vision 2030 Goals

Northeast Indiana ‘s Vision 2030 goals are critical to the growth of the region’s businesses and economy. Our community is thriving, but that does not mean the region can become stagnant in its efforts to keep improving and moving forward. Instead, the region is working on increasing the per capita personal income (PCPI), growing the regional population to 1 million people and encouraging postsecondary education attainment to more than 60 percent. Only by continually working on these initiatives will Northeast Indiana be able to successfully compete in the global war for talent.

It also means that every person, business and politician must buy and claim these goals as their own. By investing their time and efforts into Vision 2030, they invest in themselves and create a stronger foundation for where they choose to work and live.

One initiative that is extremely important for businesses to participate in achieving these goals is the Regional Internship Program for Employers. Companies need to develop, attract and retain future applicants while continuing to grow innovatively and adjusting to the changing global fight for talent.

The Regional Internships Program allows companies to invest in themselves by helping them develop an internship that educates our future workforce in the skills they will need for their fields of expertise.

Internships are extremely important to the economy of Northeast Indiana

Why are Internships so Important?

Internships are extremely important to the region in the fight for global talent. They create beneficial relationships between organizations and talent that encourage both economic and personal growth. Interns can bring innovative ideas and diversity to an organization while employers can provide employees with leadership and managerial experience. Such symbiotic relationships allow for interns to become immersed in real-world experiences and develop their skills in a preferred trade. Companies are then able to test out potential employees and create a strong and steady talent pipeline.

However, like any relationship, commitment and investment must come from both sides. An intern invests their time, talents and fresh perspectives to companies that allow them to do meaningful work that garners physical and analytical results. Companies must then invest in the intern through training, professional development, and most importantly compensation. Companies that pay interns to invest more time in their training and understanding how their interns work within the company professionally and socially. Interns who are paid are also more likely to get a job.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 63.1 percent of students who had a paid internship was offered a job as opposed to the 37 percent or the 35.2 percent of students who either had an unpaid internship or no internship at all. This means that internships assist in the creation and development of strong talent within our entire region. A company who invests in internships invests and the region it is operating in.

Closing Remarks 

Through the year, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has created an Internship Spotlight Series demonstrating the need and benefits of companies who pursue robust internship programs. We're publishing blogs on what internships should look like, interns turned employees, and the qualities to look for in potential intern candidates.

The Regional Partnership stands firmly behind the idea of helping companies in all 11 counties of our region implement internship programs that cater to their specific industry while also attracting, developing, and retaining the talent of Northeast Indiana. With free resources like the Regional Internship Program, companies are able to receive customizable and personal help to make their internship programs a success.

As this blog series and year comes to a close, let these stories inspire you to start the new year by opening doors of opportunity to the regional talent of Northeast Indiana. 

- By Katie Doehrmann, 2018 Marketing Intern