Several Clay County employers recently accepted reimbursement checks from Spencer Area Jobs Trust for participating in the Student Internship Program. The program's purpose is to give students a significant learning experience while helping employers recruit skilled workers.
"The focus of the program is to encourage employers to hire interns and establish internship programs," Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation president and CEO Kathy Evert said. "We encourage employers to introduce students to the area and give them a challenging and meaningful work experience. The hope is that the internship will lead to full-time employment."
Modeled from the Iowa Internship Program, which links students from Iowa schools to internships, the Clay County program accepts students from any university or college, including community colleges. To be eligible for the state program, the business must be in the field of advanced manufacturing, biosciences or information technology. The local program is available to any employer in Clay County.
2010 was the first year for the program, and two companies participated with three interns. In 2011, seven companies participated with 10 interns. This year, four companies participated with four interns. Companies participating this year include Kruse, Cate, & Nelson, Midstates Builders, Sackett Law Firm and Williams & Company.
Students who are within two years of graduation are eligible for the program. Two plans are available: a semester term and a summer term. The semester term, which does not have to run parallel with a school semester, must last at least 14 weeks, and the intern must work no less than 10 hours per week. The summer program must last at least eight weeks with the student working an average of 30 hours per week. A maximum of three interns per fiscal year can be granted for each company. Awards are available up to $3,000 for any single internship. The award is managed on a reimbursement basis.