Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
With the summer months upon us, it's a good time to remind businesses about a valuable program designed to enhance student's business skills and experience. Intern Nebraska provides both financial assistance to businesses creating new internships and connects Nebraska's college students to hands-on internship opportunities.
Interns gain valuable business experience that will help them in future careers, while successful internships help businesses develop tomorrow's leaders. In fact, these internships often create lasting connections between students and the business because more than 50 percent of Intern Nebraska graduating interns become full-time employees at their places of internship.
There are changes that will take place this fall as a result of LB476. These changes impact businesses applying to the Intern Nebraska Grant Program on or after LB 476 becomes operative in September 2013. Changes include:
A new emphasis on the quality of internships rather than the type of business that provides the internship. This change will extend eligibility to businesses from all industries, including non-profits: and the Department of Economic Development will develop an action plan, which will set forth selection criteria for awarding of grants to businesses.
A focus on internships whose duration allows students to gain valuable work experience, rather than requiring 200 minimum hours in 12 weeks or less that may prove cumbersome or unachievable for businesses not located near colleges/universities, or which are dependent on students' school schedules and limited breaks.
Discretion to award grants up to 75 percent of the cost of the internship, (increased from between 40 to 60 percent depending on the businesses' location.) Businesses that hire students receiving Pell Grants will be eligible to receive up to $7,500 reimbursement per internship. All other businesses will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 per internship.
All full-time students who are enrolled in colleges or universities in Nebraska, or are Nebraska residents attending colleges or universities outside Nebraska; and students who have graduated within six months are eligible. Previously, only full-time students who had completed at least one half of the required credit hours for an associates or bachelors degree were eligible.
The changes enacted through LB476 enhance the Intern Nebraska Grant Program by increasing accessibility, ensuring our talented students are given greater opportunities to grow professionally and increase their ties to Nebraska.
Currently, more than 288 companies have participated in the Intern Nebraska grant program, providing internship opportunities for 445 students. Of the companies participating, approximately one-third have less than 10 employees.
Students find their internship experiences valuable. More than 40 percent rated their overall internships a 10 out of 10. Just over 50 percent of interns who shared their future plans reported they were graduating and starting full-time permanent positions with the companies where they interned.
For more information or to post or view paid internships, visit InternNE.com.