West Michigan, Mid-Michigan Groups Beef Up Online Internship Site

EAST LANSING — Employers are looking to pluck one third of their new hires from their intern pool, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2013 survey. That statistic supports the growing understanding that an internship program can be an effective and efficient way to create a pipeline of talent to fill today’s jobs.

To help employers of all kinds establish successful internship programs, the Michigan Internship Initiative has updated its online Employer Internship Toolkit, available free at http://bit.ly/EmployerInternshipToolkitNew.

This updated resource, developed by the East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation and the Grand Rapids business promotion organization Hello West Michigan, includes more sample work plans and templates, and expanded information on working with international students, mentoring, portfolio development and connecting with K-12 students. It also includes a look at a successful model internship program.

“The toolkit was created so that anyone-including small organizations with limited or no human resources staff can effectively hire and manage interns without feeling overwhelmed,” said Amanda Dumond, director of talent initiatives at Prima Civitas.

Interns can fit many descriptions, Dumond added.

“While most employers think of interns as high school or college students, some of the most eager and talented interns are career changers, or other non-traditional candidates,” she said.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp., a supporter of the Michigan Internship Initiative, runs a statewide program called “Michigan Shifting Gears” for career changers. It requires participants to complete an 80-hour pro-bono internship at a small business.

“That program is a perfect win-win for talent and businesses in Michigan,” said Dumond. “The Employer Internship Toolkit can help equip businesses to bring those interns on board.”

Learn more at www.mitalent.org/michigan-shifting-gears-program/.

Prima Civitas, with key partners including MSU and the C.S. Mott Foundation, is focused on returning Michigan to economic prosperity through developing talent, markets and industries. The organization’s programs link Michigan employers with job seekers; develop entrepreneurs; build problem-solving capacity within communities, and connect Michigan’s industries with international opportunities. More at www.primacivitas.org.

More about Hello West Michigan and resources for employers and workers at www.hellowestmichigan.com.

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