(INDIANAPOLIS) — More than 100 interns and employers gathered at the Indiana State Fair on Friday for a networking and community engagement event organized by Indiana INTERNnet. It was the second in a series of summer events designed to influence Indiana’s talent retention.

Interns from organizations throughout the metro area were invited for a professional development session in the morning, followed by an afternoon of exploring the fair. Many different industries were represented – technology, nonprofit, financial, logistics, advertising – for a diverse networking experience for the interns.

Studies show that a feeling of community connectedness is a significant factor in a young professional’s decision to live and work in a certain area. The Indiana State Fair is a Hoosier tradition and a prime showcase of Indiana’s vibrant culture.

“Talent retention is at the core of Indiana INTERNnet’s mission,” emphasizes Janet Boston, executive director. “To complement the real-world experience interns gain on the job, these engagement events provide an opportunity for them to build relationships through networking and develop community pride.”

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann spoke to the group about the importance of internships for each student and for the state’s workforce development efforts. The Indiana Career Council has set the goal of adding 10,000 more work-and-learn experiences throughout Indiana.

“We know in the state of Indiana these internships are critical because it’s one way we’ll keep you in Indiana,” Lt. Governor Ellspermann said to the interns. “If this state’s going to reach its potential, we need you here. In my perfect world, every student would have at least one, if not two or three, internships before they graduated.”

The first summer event took place in June at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. With the support of community partners, Indiana INTERNnet plans to host another series of events in summer 2016.

For more information about Indiana INTERNnet, visit www.IndianaINTERN.net or call (317) 264-6852.

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The Indiana Chamber partners with 17,000 members and investors – representing three million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”

Indiana INTERNnet, a program managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, is the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana's top talent.

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