Sunday, August 7, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 3:44 pm, Fri Aug 5, 2011.
By KEVIN HERVERT Hub Staff Writer
KEARNEY — Five hundred to 750 college students have the opportunity to gain work experience through Intern Nebraska, a new state-funded program intended to help businesses attract talent and grow their workforce.
In the last legislative session, the Unicameral allocated $1.5 million for the first year of LB386, which created a new statewide internship initiative called Intern Nebraska, or InternNE.
The program began June 1. As of June 22, 70 companies had applied. Of those, 41 were approved for 127 positions and $563,000 was committed for wage reimbursement.
Katelin Hall and Matthew Voichahoske, college of business administration students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, were the first interns to enter the program.
Hall, a marketing major, and Voichahoske, a finance major, are interns for SunTech Industries in Ravenna.
The program was established to connect college students and employers from across Nebraska.
The program offers reimbursement of intern wages in targeted industries.
The program provides a 40 percent match, up to $3,500 per internship, for eligible businesses hiring eligible student interns.
Businesses in areas considered distressed may receive a 60 percent match up to $5,000. Areas considered distressed typically have higher-than-average unemployment rates or lower-than-average median incomes.
A business may apply for funding for up to 10 interns per year, with a maximum of five interns per company location per year.
Up to $1.5 million is available each fiscal year the program is active.
Eligible internships must be newly created internship positions that did not exist during the prior year.
A student must be enrolled full time at a college or university, be a resident of Nebraska, and be a junior or senior or be in his or her second year at a community college. Internships must pay at least minimum wage and can range from 12 weeks to yearlong programs.
An intern may be allowed to telecommute if the company is more than 30 miles from the college or university in which the intern is enrolled, and if the college or university is in Nebraska.
Businesses creating summer internships can submit applications, as well as those planning for fall 2011 and spring 2012 internships.
Businesses may apply for funds through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Once approved, business may then hire eligible interns.
At the completion of the internship, businesses may request reimbursement for intern wages.
Students and employers can visit www.internne.com to view a growing list of available internships.