Indiana INTERNnet has unveiled the winners of its annual IMPACT Awards, recognizing students, employers and educators for their efforts to support the growth of internships throughout the state. The statewide internship matching organization is also announcing a rebranding it says will further aid in talent development. In addition to internships, the newly-named Work and Learn Indiana says it will focus on helping employers fill their talent pipelines with high school students and adult workers.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick, Work and Learn Indiana Executive Director Mike Slocum said the rebranding matches the evolution of work-based learning.
“We’ve recognized in the last that the work-based learning landscape is so much more than college internships for which we were founded and so the opportunity to strategically expand our focus to broader audiences, more types of experiences, it just made sense for us to expand our name accordingly,” said Slocum.
The new brand identity comes with a new three-year strategic plan for WLI. The organization says it is now officially part of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Workforce Excellence.
“When were founded 20 years ago, the hope and the thought was that if more college students found internships, then we would solve our workforce needs,” said Slocum. “And while that has helped and we’ve placed over 11,000 students in internships, that’s a drop in the bucket to the Hoosier workforce needing to fill jobs of all types and so our opportunity to be able to expand, not just summer but all types of the year, really just made sense for us to expand accordingly.”
This year’s IMPACT Award winners include:
- College Intern of the Year (tie):
- Mason Gordon (City of Rushville; Purdue University)
- Erin Moher (netlogx, LLC; Indiana University)
- High School Intern of the Year: Kelly Burnham (Miller’s Merry Manor; Woodlan Junior/Senior High School)
- Non-Traditional Intern of the Year: Jake McCarty (The Garrett Companies, Greenwood)
- Intern Supervisor of the Year: Cindy McCullough (BGBC Partners, LLP, Indianapolis)
- College Career Development Professional of the Year: Jan Nickless (Indiana University)
- High School Career Development Professional of the Year: Lori Heuer (Columbia City High School, Whitley County)
- Employer of the Year (For-profit): RJL Solutions (Terre Haute)
- Employer of the Year (Nonprofit): The International Center (Indianapolis)
- David R. McKinnis Community Partner Award: TechPoint (Indianapolis)
“Today’s winners and nominees did not let the challenges of 2020 stop them from doing extraordinary things in work-based learning,” said Slocum. “It was inspiring to hear how employers, students and educators quickly adapted to ensure internship programs continued.”
Slocum says rebranding matches the evolution of work-based learning.