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Region gains 7 percent more internships

The Miami Valley region gained 7 percent more internships for college students in the first year of a challenge by the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, a consortium of local colleges and universities.

The 20by20 Challenge calls for reaching 20,000 internships in the region by 2020. One year after its launch, offerings increased to 11,846 from 11,066, according to the organization.

“We’re proud of the gains made in the last 12 months,” said Executive Director Sean Creighton in a news release. “As we go into our second year of the 20by20 Challenge, we will need to continue to strengthen and evolve the partnership between the private sector and higher education in order to reach the goal of creating another 10,000 plus internships over the next seven years.”

Creighton said the local progress was in line with the national percentage increase, “so we feel we are moving in the right direction, but understand we need continued growth in our region to meet the challenge.”

“The students in our region are talented, innovative, and engaged. We need to keep up the momentum to retain our best-educated and trained students in Dayton,” Creighton said.

Four out of 10 college graduates never conduct formal job-searches when they graduate because their paid internships become full-time career positions.

Additionally, interns who become full-time employees tend to stay longer with the company where they interned. Interns have a nearly 25 percent greater retention rate after five years when compared to outside hires, according to SOCHE.

A breakfast for partners to discuss their experiences with the program will be held May 3 with SOCHE, the Dayton Development Coalition and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“One of the top issues business leaders constantly think about is the need to grow and retain a talented and motivated workforce,” said Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We also know that one of the best ways to recruit and retain new talent is by providing internship and co-op work opportunities,” he said. “In addition, employers understand that internships improve the ability to properly assess future workers and ready those future workers for their career assignments.”

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