Statewide Training Sessions to Assist Employers with Building Internship Programs and Connect to Education

EAST LANSING, Mich.-The Prima Civitas Foundation (PCF), partner of the Michigan Internship Initiative, will be presenting several Employer Internship Training Sessions (EITS) over the next several months. The focus of the free training sessions is to aid in both connecting employers to education and to assist with creating workforce opportunities in the state. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), in 2010, employers converted 53.3% of eligible interns into full-time hires.

“We have significant opportunity to provide tools and resources to employers who are facing difficulty recruiting qualified candidates, experiencing high turn over, or are in the midst of succession planning for their organization” notes Amanda Avila, Talent Development Manager of the Prima Civitas Foundation. Amanda went on to add, “Creating a pipeline of workers is essential for our economy and all employers, and utilizing networks of workforce development and educational partners, among others, is key to creating that pipeline.” In 2010, employers who attended an Employer Internship Training Session in Mid-Michigan confirmed that prior to the session, they were not connected to a college or university in any capacity.

There are several groups on both local and state levels, working to address this issue, including Michigan Works Agencies, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and groups like the newly formed Livingston Business and Education Alliance. The Michigan Internship Initiative is available as a resource for those and any other organization in the state.

Preparing for the upcoming fall semester, many employers are interested in structuring an internship program, and can attend an upcoming EITS (as early as next week) to receive the information and tools necessary to do so. Davenport University, UM-Flint and Baker College and are a few of the partners who will be hosting training sessions over the next couple of months in the Lansing, Flint and Owosso areas.

At the sessions, presenters will cover the importance of internships, the 5 steps required to structure an internship program, and also provide tools and templates to assist employers with the process. Other benefits of the sessions include connecting employers to career service representatives from local colleges and universities, and discussing best practices.

The partners of the initiative include Cindy Brown of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance (WMSA), Amanda Avila of PCF, and Dr. Lori Kerlin of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. The trio work collaboratively to streamline statewide strategies, and identify projects and programs that will assist with connecting employers, colleges and students to not only resources, but also to each other.

To view the calendar for Employer Internship Training Sessions, go to or contact Amanda Avila at for more information.