Do you need talent? Yes, you can stop laughing – or crying – at that question. We already know the answer for nearly all is a resounding yes.

IndianaINTERNnet.jpgA partial solution is to grow your own talent – and that often begins with interns and Indiana INTERNnet (IIN). One of many offerings in the Indiana Chamber’s Institute for Workforce Excellence, IIN is the connection between skilled and enthusiastic workers and your organization.

Not only are record numbers of interns looking for that next opportunity – 11,400-plus utilizing the platform at last count – but there is more flexibility than ever in internship arrangements. Virtual and project-based internships are just two of the growing models available to help meet employer needs.

“Many students searching for internships want to be entrepreneurs,” shares Mike Slocum, executive director of Indiana INTERNnet. “They are looking to gain that real-world experience to supplement what they have already learned or seen at other internships or jobs. And those interns are ready to contribute to your organization today!”

The IIN team reports the posting of a large number of information technology internships. Muncie’s Ontario Systems (2019 Employer of the Year in the for-profit category) and Artisan Electronics of Odon are two frequent users of both Indiana INTERNnet and the EARN (Employment Aid Readiness Network) component that provides matching state funds for eligible students.

Craig Carson of Jeco Plastics Products in Plainfield offers an employer perspective.

“Indiana INTERNnet has provided talent we would have otherwise been unable to find or hire. The benefits to both interns and Jeco have been significant and have allowed us to use new technology and new ideas in our rapidly evolving market. It has also provided us an opportunity to evaluate longer-term employment prospects for students, which was formerly a riskier decision.”

There was no risk involved in the inaugural Indiana Intern Day on July 25. The opportunity for employers, schools and interns to spotlight the impact of internships on Indiana’s workforce was primarily a virtual event. The hashtag #INinternday was trending on Twitter at No. 2 – trailing only the hashtag for National Intern Day.

IIN provides an easy-to-use online platform to post your internships, with staff and resources available to help you develop or enhance your internship program. A pair of virtual intern recruitment events are planned for later this year and early 2020.

We encourage you to be part of a winning formula: Adding skilled workers (either on a temporary or permanent basis) to your organization + introducing more people to career opportunities close to home = a BIG WIN for Indiana.

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Adam H. Berry is vice president of economic development and technology at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He joined the organization in 2019.