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April 22, 2024

We Can Help Your Internship Program Build Momentum Starting Now


NSCA’s Ignite Internship Program helps integrators and manufacturers overcome the challenges and costs associated with managing internships.

Internship programs may be one of the best talent investments your company will ever make.

A recent survey led by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers) shows that 80% of employers cite internships as the candidate-sourcing technique with the best ROI—outperforming options like career fairs and on-campus visits.

If you need to build your talent pipeline quickly (like so many other integrators and manufacturers in our industry), then building an internship program is the first step to take.

But creating an internship program takes work—which is why some companies hesitate. It involves much more than bringing in a few students and assigning them warehouse tasks or busywork for 12 weeks. It also requires you to:

  • Develop consistent processes
  • Track intern productivity
  • Collect performance metrics
  • Engage intern managers

It seems daunting, but that’s where NSCA’s Ignite Internship Program enters the picture. We can help you overcome many of the challenges associated with managing your internships—even if your program is well-established.

Tools to Build Out Your Internship Program

Our resources help you bring interns into your organization and position them for success.

Internship Framework

Phase 1: Onboarding. Interns gain an understanding of your business, spending at least one day in each department. The intern then reports on what he/she learned (which can be helpful for you, too).

Phase 2: Ride & Decide. For five weeks, interns receive in-depth exposure to three departments and career paths they choose. Tasks are a mix of job-specific activities and soft-skills training. Interns report on what they learn and work with you to determine areas of interest.

Phase 3: Learn & Earn. Interns gain relevant experience and credentials in sales, operations, marketing, or project management by completing NSCA’s C-SIP program. After completing this program, they once again report on what they learned.

Phase 4: Real-World Application. For two weeks, interns spend 80% to 90% of their time on projects in the area they choose. They also craft an essay that documents what they’ve learned about quality, performance, process improvement, and personal growth. Lastly, they report one final time on what they learned and how they see themselves fitting in at your company.

This structure helps everyone get something valuable from the program:

  • Interns emerge with an appreciation for our industry, your company, and the skills they can contribute to specific roles.
  • Your company starts building a talent pipeline and gets help with projects that have been on the radar for a while but haven’t been finished due to lack of time or resources.

Software & Processes

Behind the scenes, you’ll have access to an online software package called TalentLMS. It provides a way for you to create your internship program and guides you and your interns through the process by connecting you both with:

  • Instructions
  • Videos
  • Tests
  • Reporting
  • Analytics

These tools give you a framework to follow—no guesswork required—so you can create a successful, beneficial internship program. You’ll be able to track performance and productivity metrics while also getting managers involved with their interns’ progress.

Offsetting Internship Costs

Internships also cost money—and NSCA’s Ignite Internship Program can help you here, too.

To offset some of the costs associated with internship programs, our Ignite Internship Grant offers $1,000 toward the reimbursement of intern wages.

These subsidized grants are given to qualifying integrator and manufacturer companies that hope to transition interns to full-time employment.

Apply for an Internship Grant

If your internship program exists within the commercial integrator industry—and you’re putting forth an effort to help interns experience different departments and work with mentors along the way—then your program qualifies for an Ignite Internship Grant.

Our industry needs more talented individuals, and you can help us make it happen. We want to assist as many integrators and manufacturers as possible with their internship programs, including you. NSCA can help you launch your own Ignite internship program.

To learn more about Ignite and positioning your internship program for success, reach out to the newest member of our team: NSCA Director of Workforce Development Laura Janssen.

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