VIDEO: Internship Program Targets Manufacturing

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana's advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative says its unique summer internship program is providing a "commercial" for what the industries look like. Conexus Interns Program Manager Tracey Everett says the program for high school students expanded statewide this year, growing from 84 to more than 230 students. In addition to providing career prep for students, Everett says companies have been surprised by the quality of the interns, saying some have told her they "couldn't even believe these were high school students."

Everett says Conexus has had to reach out to companies throughout the state to show them how they can legally and safely bring in students under 18 to do "meaningful work." She says the program aims to make high school internships more accessible, and give students the opportunity to work in the clean, high-tech facilities that today's manufacturing sector offers.

The organization hopes to continue to expand the internship program's footprint in the coming years. By 2019, Everett says Conexus hopes to have 400 students placed in internships statewide.

The need continues to be great in Indiana's growing advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. On Wednesday, Daimler Trucks North America said it would locate its first Midwest parts distribution center in Whitestown. The $12 million project is expected to result in up to 45 new jobs by 2017. Earlier this week, Massachusetts-based Ken's Foods Inc. announced plans to invest $90 million into a new facility in the Lebanon Business Park in a move expected to create up to 150 jobs. And in Seymour, Aisin USA Manufacturing announced plans this week to pump nearly $100 million into growing and upgrading its Seymour operations and creating 100 jobs over the next two years.

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