Workforce

Five reasons to hire an intern

Have you ever considered hiring an intern at your utility? If not, now is the time. The benefits are many and it helps you support your community, in the true spirit of public power.

  1. Find future employees — An internship program is a good year-round recruiting tool that creates an ongoing pipeline of potential interns. As college campuses are viral societies, when an intern has a positive work experience, word will quickly spread back to his or her contacts, including other students and staff at their university. Soon your utility and other public power communities can attract the most sought-after student talent.
  2. Test-drive talent — Internships are an effective way to evaluate an individual for a fulltime job without the pitfall of hiring and training someone new only to find they're not a good fit for your organization — or that they don't like the work. An internship program allows your utility to more accurately assess potential job candidates — telling you much more than an interview can.
  3. Try a low-cost hiring option — Interns are an inexpensive resource. Their salaries are significantly lower than that of staff,andyou aren't obligated to pay unemployment or a severance package should you not hire them fulltime. While their wage requirements are modest, they're among the most highly motivated members of the workforce.
  4. Increase your employee retention rate — A 2009 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey reported that almost 40 percent of employers had a higher five-year retention rate among employees they'd hired via their internship programs. NACE's 2011 Internship and Co-op survey showed that after 5 years, retention was 11 percent higher for those who first participated in a company's internship program.
  5. Give back to the community — Sponsoring interns is an excellent way to give back to the community. It encourages local jobs and helps students in your community gain experience, develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, learn about a field, and assess their interests and abilities. Economically disadvantaged youth can also benefit from an internship.

The American Public Power Association makes it easy for you to bring an intern on board. Our Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency or DEED program offers grants and scholarships to help cover the cost of hosting an intern. You have two opportunities each year to apply to host an intern: the fall cycle, Aug. 1 — Oct. 15, and the spring cycle, Dec. 1 — Feb. 15. Apply now!"

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