A $600,000 grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. is boosting a statewide internship initiative. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce says the funding supports a three-year, “aggressive” strategy to strengthen services and increase participation. January 24, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Since Indiana INTERNnet began a little more than a decade ago, the service has helped more than 50,000 students and 5,500 Hoosier employers access important tools and make connections with each other.

Indiana INTERNnet, which recently received a $600,000 grant from Lilly Endowment, is now looking to “take things to the next level,” says executive director Janet Boston.

“This funding will help enable us to implement an aggressive three-year plan that not only strengthens our services but also focuses on ways to encourage participation and improve networking among the key players in internships: employers, colleges and universities, and students.”

Along with the new strategic plan, the organization has “a redefined mission statement that more accurately captures the breadth of our work and our purpose,” Boston explains.

The new mission statement: Indiana INTERNnet is the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana's top talent.

The statewide resource for high school and college internships is managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

A 2013 study of internships in the state conducted by Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and Public Policy Institute found, in short, that “internships matter” – they are a proven strategy for gaining real-life, resum?-worthy work experiences; and from the employer perspective, they identify potential full-time talent.

The challenge is awareness, and that's at the top of Indiana INTERNnet’s objectives.

“Continuing to educate students, higher education institutions and employers about the value and best practices of internships is crucial,” Boston begins.

“We've identified how to move forward in ways that do that and can make a difference; whether that’s further celebrating internship success stories, expanding our online and social media presence or providing decision-makers with hard data on the valuable relationship between internships and employment.”

The IU study also touted the effectiveness of a regional approach to internships.

According to Boston, that's something Indiana INTERNnet is already engaged in doing with partners throughout the state – serving as a key resource on internships – but it's something the organization intends to do more of.

Businesses and students interested in more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program can visit www.indianaintern.net or call Boston at (317) 264-6862.

The Indiana Chamber partners with 15,000 members and investors – representing 2.6 million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”

Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce

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