Girl Intern carrying a book and smiling

A Guide to Implementing Effective Internship Programs in Nevada

by Manufacture Nevada

In the ever-changing landscape of Nevada's business sector, cultivating a proficient and flexible workforce is fundamental for achieving success. Internship programs are pivotal in connecting academic learning with real-world industry experiences, offering valuable opportunities for students and infusing businesses with new perspectives. Throughout this extensive guide, we will delve into the importance of internships for companies in Nevada, offer insights on launching effective internship programs, and showcase funded internship opportunities available across the state.

The Impactful Role of Internships

Internships play a crucial role in fostering professional growth and development by providing students with the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world challenges. Nevada's dedication to workforce development is evident in initiatives such as the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which actively supports businesses in establishing strong internship programs that prove beneficial for both students and companies alike.

Building a Successful Internship Program

Initiating a successful internship program requires strategic planning and thoughtful consideration. Here are key elements to address:

Key Considerations

  1. Meaningful Work: Identify projects that offer interns the opportunity to make a tangible impact.
  2. Duration: Determine the length of the internship, considering co-op options for longer-term projects.
  3. Company Buy-In: Ensure all team members are on board to support and engage with interns.
  4. Physical Space and Equipment: Provide interns with the necessary workspace and tools.

Work Experience and Life Skills:

Internships should go beyond fulfilling labor needs. Consider providing interns with life skills, such as understanding retirement accounts and other employee benefits, contributing to their holistic development.

Elements of a Successful Internship Program

Choosing the right structure and forming partnerships with schools are critical components of a thriving internship program:

Choose the Right Structure:

  • Summer Internships: Full-time work experiences during the summer, lasting at least 10 weeks.
  • Co-Ops: Full-time work experiences for one semester or a semester plus the summer.
  • Parallel Co-Ops and Internships: Part-time work periods during the academic year.

Partnering with Universities:

In a bid to make internships more accessible, several colleges and institutions in Nevada offer funded internship programs. These initiatives not only benefit students by providing financial support but also assist businesses in securing top-tier talent. Let's explore three notable funded internship programs:

Funded Internship Programs in Nevada

Explore three funded internship programs in Nevada that not only benefit students but also provide financial support to employers:

1. Wolf Pack STEM Internship Program (University of Nevada, Reno)

The Wolf Pack STEM Internship Program, administered by the Nevada Career Studio, focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Designed to support local tech small businesses, start-ups, and non-profit organizations, the program emphasizes training and retaining STEM talent, with a particular focus on women and underrepresented minorities. Employers can apply for the program, receive funding for student interns, and gain access to a pool of qualified candidates.

How to Apply:

  • Employers can submit applications year-round.
  • The program covers wages at $18 per hour for 120 hours of work during Fall and Spring and 360 hours in the Summer.
  • Employers receive assistance with marketing, recruitment, and candidate selection.

2. Pack Internship Grant Program (University of Nevada, Reno)

Co-sponsored by the Nevada Career Studio and the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, the Pack Internship Grant Program provides funding for student internships with non-profit organizations, start-ups, public/government agencies, University departments, and NSHE affiliates. Employers can apply for up to three positions, and the program covers $16 per hour for 120 hours of work, with $960 provided by the grant.

How to Apply:

  • Employers submit applications for consideration, and positions are reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Funding covers fifty percent of student wages, with employers compensating the remaining balance.

3. StepUp & StartUp Internship Program (UNLV College of Engineering)

UNLV's College of Engineering presents the StepUp & StartUp Internship Program, designed to support local startups offering technical internships to UNLV engineering students. This program emphasizes collaboration between startups, small businesses, non-profits, and students, fostering meaningful experiences.

How to Apply:

  • Employers submit applications for consideration, and positions are reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • The program reimburses the employer for intern wages monthly
  • Interns can work in Fall and Spring a maximum of 20 hours a week and in Summer 40 hours a week at $18.00 a week.
  • Must be a startup, small business or non-profit in Nevada.
  • The stipend-based program can operate outside semester guidelines, with summer internships lasting 12 weeks and fall/spring internships lasting 15 weeks.

Benefits of Hosting Interns

Welcoming interns is like breathing new life into our organization – their fresh ideas and vibrant energy create an atmosphere buzzing with innovation and creativity. When we embrace diversity in recruiting interns, we're not just widening our talent pool; we're fostering a collaborative environment that sparks inventive solutions. It's more than a workforce infusion; it's about infusing our workplace with diverse perspectives, enriching our culture, and propelling us towards adaptability and sustained success in Nevada's ever-evolving business scene.

Manufacture Nevada

In wrapping up, internships play a crucial role in Nevada's business scene, connecting education with practical experience. This guide has shared why internships matter and how to start successful programs, highlighting funded opportunities like Wolf Pack STEM, Pack Internship Grant, and StepUp & StartUp. Hosting interns brings in new ideas and diverse energy, enriching any workplace. If you're a business in Nevada looking to delve into internships or enhance your operations, Manufacture Nevada is here to help. Our Advisors have the know-how and resources to guide employers, ensuring a vibrant future for businesses.

Content from this blog is partly curated from MEP

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