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NEWS: Value of Internships to Local Employers

ERC/NOCHE 2018 Intern & Recent Grad Pay Rates & Practices Survey

                         ERC/NOCHE Intern & Recent Grad Pay Rates & Practices Survey 2016

New Research Proves Value of Internships to Local Employers


According to a new survey of regional employers, internships are a valuable and valued approach to sustaining a strong and competitive workforce.  Having a supply of interns familiar with an organization provides an easy and affordable way to strengthen a company and a regional economy, according to the findings of research conducted by ERC and NOCHE (Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education). 

The experiences of more than 100 organizations regarding their intern and recent graduate hiring and management practices are cited in the 2018 ERC & NOCHE Intern & Recent Graduate Pay Rates & Practices Survey.  The findings reinforce the importance of internship programs and ongoing relationships between employers and universities in providing seamless access to a talent pipeline.

“When we hire an intern to join our company as a new employee, our hiring costs are next-to-nothing and the benefits are vast,” according to Annette Kramer, Director of Operations at

Vizion Solutions, an Independence, Ohio company.  “We bring in 4 to 5 interns every summer, and we typically hire one or two of them as full-time employees to fill openings after they graduate.  They understand our systems.  They hit the ground running.  Day 1 for a former intern is like Week 8 for a new employee not hired from an internship.  The training process just isn’t necessary.” 

The ERC/NOCHE survey provides information and best practices that can help companies develop, attract and retain new talent.  For example, companies that do not have a formal internship program say it’s because they don’t have the resources to maintain such a program.  The report, along with other NOCHE research, provides information about building and maintaining a successful internship program without investing in new resources.  The report outlines current rates of pay for interns and recent graduates in various fields, details about performance evaluations, and the kinds of projects interns are often assigned. 

The top criteria that employers look for when hiring an intern or a new graduate are: work ethic, professionalism, academic major and interpersonal communications skills.  The primary reasons employers hire interns are to develop a local talent pipeline, to assist with special project work, and to obtain affordable workforce support while testing out potential employees before hiring them.  Companies with internship programs also benefit by developing relationships with local colleges and universities, building awareness among students looking for opportunities after graduation.

“Every year, we compete in The Expys award program through NOCHE which recognizes top internship programs and top interns throughout the region,” says Kramer.  “The recognition we receive is invaluable.  One of our best interns found us because he searched ‘Best internships in Cleveland’ and saw we had won an award for our program.” 

This year’s Best Small Company Internship Award went to Banyan Technology in Elyria, Ohio, which uses interns to help develop innovative software.  Banyan credits its rapid growth (with year-over-year growth targets exceeding 50%) to the contributions of its interns spurring new product ideas. In 2017, Banyan achieved its greatest revenue growth, and released the most products in its history.  In 2017, Banyan also employed the most interns in its history, criteria the judges considered when selecting Banyan Technology as a winner.

Interestingly, the ERC/NOCHE survey also found that employers use prior internship experience as a hiring criteria with the same frequency as they use work experience that is not internship based.  Even if the new hire did not intern with them previously, the fact that he/she had internship experience somewhere is considered an asset for a new employee and the company.

Sixty-one percent of the employers surveyed have hired or plan on hiring new college graduates this year, and most of the new graduates are coming into the local employment market from northeast Ohio colleges and universities.

For more information on the survey or to speak with specialists on internship programs, contact Brenda Davis Smith, Associate Vice President for Programs, at 216.302.3242 or

NOCHE provides a robust matching platform for recruiting interns and job candidates, and also offers internship training workshops for employers.  The next workshop, Maximize Your Intern & Entry Talent ROI, will be offered on August 3 at the NOCHE offices.

NOCHE: Connecting business and higher education