Texas has started a statewide campaign encouraging more employers to offer internships.
This 'Texas Internship Challenge' is a statewide initiative that was developed through the partnership with three agencies: The Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency.
"They recognize the need to develop and promote internships throughout the State of Texas," said Marvin Rivas, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (PRPC) Workforce Development Director.
PRPC's workforce development board has been assigned to promote this initiative in the Texas Panhandle.
They have been reaching out to all businesses, particularly those who currently do not have internship programs. The board's mission is to educate employers on how it benefits them and students by keeping them local.
"We know that 60 percent of our employers prefer to hire individuals with work experience, and we often hear the challenge students face when they come out of school is that they can't find a job," said Rivas. "They have the education but they don't have the work experience. These internships are a way to bridge that gap for not only our students but our employers."
For "internship-hesitant" employers who think students can be seen as a liability, a way to avoid these concerns is to consider either paid or credited internships through schools.
"The challenge of not having a paid internship is that fact that when it is unpaid, the reliability of the individual is somewhat lacking depending on the individual of course," said Rivas.
To increase internship participation there is now a statewide website.
Here students and employers can register or search positions in their region.