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Adding a young intern to your business could bring many unexpected positives

PHOTO COURTESY OF EDCO
 - The Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce encourages businesses to consider bringing in interns.

As the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce dives into the world of assisting the future workforce by hiring a new internship coordinator and working with local schools and students, we have found ourselves almost in the role of "sales" to promote this idea to our community.

Are you a business considering an intern? There are several key reasons to get involved in the internship program and bring youth on board.

The benefit of a fresh perspective

Students who have an interest in the intern program can bring a fresh perspective to the office. Be willing to appreciate their enthusiasm and let it spread to tenured employees. It's always good to get new suggestions on organizational and operational issues.

"The way we've always done it" may be working, but be willing to challenge those ways of thinking. An intern may have a great process of questioning that will create thought-provoking ideas. Let them assist in brainstorming a better ways of doing things than have been done in the past.

Stepping into the future

As we see technology take off, and social media being used as a platform for marketing, communication and branding, many businesses don't have the staff or bandwidth to keep up. There can also be a lack of knowledge on how to operate all the different platforms available.

Many interns are extremely screen savvy and can take on the role of managing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and much more. The GenY tech-savvy population can be a huge help to small businesses without the resources to start up and manage their social media.

Recruiting tools

Businesses are now growing with the thriving economy. Taking on interns is, in essence, the ultimate employee recruiting tool. Consider an internship a test drive for future employees. It allows for a trial period where employers can onboard and screen prior to a full commitment to make sure the person is the right fit. Investing in interns creates opportunities for your organization, as well as the upcoming workforce.

Leadership training

Consider letting current employees train your interns. This gives them a chance to show leadership skills. Businesses have an opportunity to motivate their staff to become stronger employees and try out their management skills. Supervising can be a great moral boost for staff and create leadership skills amongst one's team.

Community giving

By partnering with the Chamber and local schools, businesses that take on interns are giving back to the community and our youth. They are gaining local advocacy and shedding a positive light on their organization. And when an intern has a rewarding experience, they will share with their peers, and perhaps open up a whole new group of potential employees or even better, potential customers. It can be an incredible branding tool for a business.

Kim Daniels is the executive director of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 541-447-6304.

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