Internships are a great way to help fill temporary workforce needs and establish a pipeline for permanent employees. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation provides an online tool allowing businesses to post internships and students to search internship opportunities.
Many employers report that interns are the best source of new full-time employees according to recent National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys.
Here are some informational tips for businesses interested in establishing an internship:
The work should be an integral part of the student’s course of study.
The student may receive credit for the work or the work is required for graduation. (This is optional and determined between the business, seeker and institution.)
The student may be required to prepare a report of his or her experience and submit it to a faculty supervisor.
The employer should receive a letter or some other form of written documentation from the school stating that it sponsors or approves the internship and that the internship is educationally relevant.
Learning objectives should be clearly identified.
The student should not perform work that other employees perform, unless applicable to the internship.
The student should be in a shadowing/learning mode.
The employer should provide an opportunity for the student to learn a skill, process or other business function or to learn how to operate equipment.
There should be an educational value to the work performed. I.e., it should relate to the courses the student is taking in school.
A staff member should supervise the student.
The student should not provide benefit to the employer more than 50 percent of the time.
The employer should not promise a job to the student upon completion of the training or completion of schooling.
For assistance in either posting an internship or applying for an internship, please contact your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office.
A program some businesses may find interesting is Dakota Seeds. The Department of Tourism has partnered with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to help defray the cost of starting an internship or assistantship for those businesses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Eligible businesses may apply for funding for up to one half the wages a student earns during the approved internship or assistantship.