As Janet Boston looks back on her seven-plus years as executive director of Indiana INTERNnet, there’s a recurring theme: opportunity. Boston and her team took advantage of those opportunities as work-and-learn experiences continued to become more highly regarded.
Indiana INTERNnet is the statewide resource for internship opportunities managed by the Indiana Chamber. Boston will retire at the end of May.
“Indiana INTERNnet is a wonderful program,” she remarks. “It’s been exciting to see it grow as more and more employers and students are recognizing the value of internships.”
Established in 2001, Indiana INTERNnet began as an initiative focusing on college students. It’s expanded to encompass high school students and people of all ages – in both workplace and virtual settings.
Under Boston’s leadership, the program has grown by more than 100% in student registrations and internships offered and by more than 350% in internships filled. She also helped facilitate the EARN (Employment Aid Readiness Network) Indiana effort with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, which provides up to 50% state matching funds for hiring qualified students.
“We’ve developed great partnerships in the community,” Boston reflects. “With EARN, the Commission has been invaluable in connecting students with internships. The partnership provides employers with access to more high-quality students and links students with internship opportunities.”
Boston helped expand the IMPACT Awards, which celebrate student-employer connections. Nearly 400 people took part in the 12th annual event in 2018. Regional initiatives throughout the state and strong connections with colleges and universities also were key growth factors.
“I’m so grateful to the Indiana INTERNnet board of directors and the Indiana Chamber for providing me the opportunity to make an impact on the community,” she shares. “With the increased awareness and the need for talent recruitment and retention, I’m excited to see the next opportunities that exist for Indiana INTERNnet.”
Mark Lawrance will serve as interim executive director. The Indiana Chamber vice president of engagement and innovation policy has been involved with the program since it came to the Chamber in 2006.