IMPACT Awards Celebrate Internship Success

Internship excellence, and the interns, employers and career development professionals that make it possible, were honored today by Indiana INTERNnet during the 12th annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. Indiana INTERNnet is the statewide resource for internship opportunities managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and has helped connect students and employers across the state since 2001.

Appropriately supporting the luncheon’s theme of “Wild about Workforce Development,” Chris Heeter, founder of The Wild Institute, delivered the keynote address, “Guiding the Team to Success.” She combines business expertise with stories from her sled dog team and experience as a whitewater trip guide.

“Experiential learning is a key piece of Indiana’s workforce development plans, and the nominees we celebrated this year are a promising indication of Indiana’s future,” offers Indiana INTERNnet Executive Director Janet Boston. “Internships are making a difference in our young professionals’ skill levels, and often, these opportunities are leading to full-time jobs either with the intern’s employer or another Hoosier company. Everyone benefits from meaningful internships.”

Winners:

  • College Intern of the Year: Jerica Mitchell (Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Inc.; Indiana State University)
  • High School Intern of the Year: Camisa Vines (South Bend Code School; John Adams High School)
  • Non-Traditional Intern of the Year: Miranda Goodwin (Wabash Valley Community Foundation)
  • Career Development Professional of the Year: Nathan Milner (Indiana Wesleyan University)
  • Employer of the Year (For-profit): Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance (Indianapolis)
  • Employer of the Year (Non-profit): Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (South Bend)

IMPACT Awards

The full press release, with a list of all nominees and additional information about the winners can be found here.

In addition, the second annual School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year award was presented to Perry Central Jr./Sr. High School and Jasper Engines and Transmissions. The recognition, developed by the Indiana Chamber Foundation to highlight innovative approaches to college and career readiness, comes during National School Counseling Week. The Indiana Chamber Foundation and the Department of Workforce Development jointly presented the award.

The luncheon was sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College and held at the Ivy Tech Community College Culinary and Conference Center in Indianapolis. Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business was the event emcee.

For more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program, visit www.IndianaINTERN.net or call the hotline at 317-264-6852.

Nominations Open for School-Business Partnership Award

The Indiana Chamber Foundation is accepting nominations for its second annual School Counseling-Business Partnership of the Year award, highlighting the collaborative efforts between employers and educators to better prepare students for college and careers.

The award, presented in partnership with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, is open to all Indiana high schools and employers (must be located in Indiana). Nomination letters must include the name of the high school and employer and describe how the partnership has led to better preparation of students for college and career success.

In addition, a $1,000 scholarship will be given to a high school senior who has shown exceptional progress in college and career readiness because of the school counseling-business partnership.

The 2017 inaugural award was presented to Hobart High School and St. Mary’s Medical Center. Read more about that partnership here. The winning partnership will be announced at the 12th annual Indiana INTERNnet IMPACT Awards luncheon on February 7.

Nominations should be submitted to Shelley Huffman at shuffman@indianachamber.com by Friday, January 12.

partnership

VIDEO: Brinegar Explains School Corporation Size Study

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar discusses the recent study from Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research: “School Corporation Size & Student Performance: Evidence from Indiana,” commissioned by the Indiana Chamber Foundation.

Workforce Survey: Business Input Needed

The greatest asset of any business is its people. Unfortunately, many organization are facing challenges in workforce and talent development efforts. The Indiana Chamber seeks to provide assistance through various policy and program efforts.

Currently, the Indiana Chamber Foundation’s 10th annual survey of Indiana employers is taking place. Hundreds of human resources professionals and company leaders have already shared their insights on skills shortages, training needs, incentives and more.

The Chamber Foundation is partnering with Walker, an Indiana-based customer experience consulting firm. The survey sponsor is WGU Indiana. Check out its brief video on “Why We’re Different”:

Among the recent trends: Companies that left Indiana jobs unfilled in 2015 due to under-qualified applicants increased to 45% – compared to 43% and 39%, respectively, for the prior two years.

In addition, 27% of respondents identified filling their workforce and meeting talent needs as ­­their biggest challenge. Another 49% categorized the talent needs as “challenging but not their biggest challenge.” The 76% total exceeds the numbers for 2015 (74%; 24% biggest challenge) and 2014 (72%; 20% biggest challenge).

View more on the 2016 results. If you have not received the survey from Walker and are interested in participating or learning more, contact Shelley Huffman at shuffman@indianachamber.com or (317) 264-7548.

Wise Up! Older Workers Have the Right Stuff

A new initiative from the Indiana Chamber Foundation that was released today has a cool name (Workforce Wise) and an intriguing logo (check it out on the report or web site). Even better — and on a much more substantive level — it includes very pertinent information to help address a growing workforce challenge.

That challenge is not new — the aging workforce. But this compilation of prior research, newly commissioned studies and additional input is comprehensive and looks at ways to turn the challenges into opportunities. You can read the official language in the press release and report. Here’s my view on key takeaways:

  • Employers, don’t lose your greatest asset (people who know how your organization works) because you weren’t prepared. Be flexibile, figure out ways to make it work for you and these key employees and you won’t be sorry
  • Employees, your job is to learn new skills and also adjust to changing circumstances (most of you are willing, and employers and educators are there to help)
  • Communities have a big stake here. People who continue to contrbute on the job and in society in general are far preferred to those who are shut out and primarily become users of public resources

A number of people put in a lot of good work to make this report possible. It’s one of those projects that can — and will — have a lasting impact. Invest a little time in the 32 pages, including informative charts. It will be worth the effort.  

Foundation’s Workforce Wise on the Way

The Indiana Chamber has a foundation. No, it’s not a foundation that provides grants and resources to needy organizations. But it is providing valuable information for all Hoosiers in the form of long-term public policy research that often is used to improve the business climate for Indiana companies and their employees.

Need a few examples:

  • Indiana INTERNnet evolved from a foundation study that clearly identified Indiana’s loss of talented young people and established increasing internship possibilities as one of the tools to reverse that trend. Employers and students have been benefitting from the program for the past eight years.
  • Ready Indiana was a product of foundation research into the state’s existing workforce and what is needed to help those employees adapt to jobs in today’s and tomorrow’s economy. Ready Indiana helps match company training needs with appropriate providers and resources.
  • State tax and education policies have emanated from the research, and today’s strong push for local government reform owes part of its recent beginnings to the Indiana Project for Efficient Local Government study in 2004.

What’s next? Look for Workforce Wise — an in-depth look at the aging population and its impacts on the workforce, communities and economic development — in the coming months.

Check out some of the past Chamber Foundation studies and reports.