Our Opinion: Intern Initiative Program enhances relationships

Internships are designed to be mutually beneficial relationships.

Employers benefit from the energy, effort and enthusiasm of interns, who gain practical knowledge and workplace experience.

An Intern Initiative Program sponsored by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce also is designed to be mutually beneficial.

The program provides opportunities for interns to network and learn about the Jefferson City area. Those ties, in turn, may attract young professionals to make the community their home.

The program is coordinated by a committee led by Stephanie Bell, a local attorney who served as an intern at the Capitol while she was a student at Truman State University in Kirksville.

Bell recalls talking with her husband about how internships forge friendships, a notion that dovetailed with the chamber’s effort to attract young professionals to return or relocate to Jefferson City.

A recent survey of interns reinforces that concept. More than half of the respondents valued a network of friends in selecting a place to live.

The Intern Initiative Program seeks to build that network through a variety of events, including an orientation, tours, and social and business gatherings.

Bell describes the effort as “an opportunity to welcome interns, to allow them to meet and to learn more about the community.”

Although the chamber program does not match interns and businesses, a review planned this fall will explore how the chamber can educate member businesses about the benefits of offering internships.

We commend chamber officials and volunteers, area businesses and interns who have been involved in this constructive initiative.

The program is an inexpensive outreach that enhances an existing asset.

It will pay dividends for our community and its residents today and in the future.

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