Indiana Internship Opportunities

Opening the Employment Door via Internships and Apprenticeships

Young adults in college or high school often work as interns or sometimes as apprentices to gain hands-on, valuable work experiences to help them obtain better jobs. An internship gives young workers the chance to learn new skills, observe a workplace environment, build relationships with co-workers and managers, get used to a regular schedule, and test their abilities to contribute and be productive.

Internships and apprenticeships can be great opportunities for many young adults but especially for some young adults with disabilities. A number of businesses, organizations, and agencies now recognize the value of these experiences. Although some are designed for college students with disabilities, others are open to students in their last year of high school or young adults who've left school. 

 

What We Do (and Don't Do)

On this page, you'll find information and links to internship opportunities within Indiana and a few nationwide. Internships vary widely in length, location, available supports, outcomes or goals, and eligibility.  Ask questions about all of these things. If you're a job seeker working with Indiana VR, talk to your VR counselor or community employment provider about what might be possible for you.

The Center on Community Living and Careers provides this information for the benefit of young adults, their families, and the professionals who support them.  We do not, however, coordinate internships or work directly with the agencies or organizations listed here. 

Scroll down this page to explore Project SEARCH Indiana, College InternXperience, apprenticeships, and more. 

Project SEARCH Indiana

Project SEARCH is a transition employment model developed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in 1996. In Indiana, Project SEARCH provides transition-age youth and young adults with quality internship experiences in preparation for competitive employment—jobs in the “real world.” Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation (in relationship with Project SEARCH national) oversees collaborative teams of adult employment providers, school systems, and local businesses in the development of Project SEARCH sites throughout Indiana.

Thanks to its collaborative approach and a determined focus on full immersion in the workplace, Project SEARCH works. Students in transition—those with disabilities who are in their last year of high school and who are eligible for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation services—are finding employment as a direct result of their Project SEARCH Indiana experiences.

During the course of the internship year, students develop extensive resume portfolios and are sometimes offered employment by the host business or a related business when the internship ends. If an intern has not obtained a position by the end of the internship experience, he or she receives (without delay) job placement services from the Project SEARCH Indiana community employment provider partner.

Project SEARCH Indiana Sites

Currently, five Project SEARCH Indiana high school transition sites are training student interns, who work in clerical, materials management, customer service, health care services, data entry, and other areas. Two additional sites are providing similar internship experiences to young adults under the age of 24, who are no longer attending school.

  • Sycamore Services-Indiana Government Center (Adult Program 18-24+)
  • Lawrence Township-Easter Seals Crossroads-Community North Hospital
  • IPS-Easter Seals Crossroads-Community East Hospital
  • South Bend Community Schools-Adec-South Bend Memorial
  • Warrick School Corporation-SIRS-Deaconess Hospital
  • Gibson County Schools-New Frontiers Employment-Gibson General Hospital
  • Bloomington Stone Belt-Cook Inc.-Ivy Tech (Adult Program 18-24+)

College InternXperience

College students with autism who are enrolled at any of five university and college campuses in Indiana may be eligible to participate in a paid internship through Indiana InternXperience.

This grant-funded program is administrered by Easterseals Crossroads and provides hands-on experience to students within their chosen field of study. Prospective interns meet with an Indiana InternXperience coordinator to set goals and determine strengths, interests, and preferences for a "good fit" internship. Business placements are determined by the student's field of interest, location, and goals. All students must be enrolled in a participating Indiana college.

For more information, contact Suzanne McVey, 317-466-1000, or email Easterseals Crossroads.  

Indiana Intern

This website from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce allows students, employers, or educators to find and post internships located throughout the state. Note that this site offers internships for any type of student and is not specific to disability. 

Talk to your VR counselor, local WorkOne office, or community employment provider if you are interested in applying for an internship you see listed on Indiana Intern

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Summer Internships

AAPD is a national disability advocacy organization. Through its summer internship program in Washington, D.C., AAPD places college students with federal agencies, Congressional offices, and not-for-profit and for-profit businesses. Internships are designed to increase leadership skills and advocacy awareness. 

Interns accepted into the program are matched with career mentors and receive a living stipend, transportation to and from Washington, D.C., and accessible housing. 

For more information about requirements, application deadlines, and this year's schedule, go to the AAPD Summer Internship Program webpage

 

Apprenticeships

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) refers to apprenticeships as a "proven solution" for employers seeking to recruit, train, hire, and retain skilled workers. Businesses developing and relying on apprenticeships vary from traditional construction or building trades to those in information technology and health care. 

DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is committed to increasing the number of apprenticeships available to adults and young adults with disabilities. The agency is promoting inclusive apprenticeship program models. 

The ODEP apprenticeship webpage includes links to the agency's Apprenticeship Disability-Inclusion Guides for young adults, educators and service providers, and businesses. ODEP's ApprenticeshipWorks Video Series visually explains how apprenticeships work for job seekers and employers. 

Here's an example:

For more resources, links to specific programs, and access to the Apprenticeship Toolkit, see the ODEP Apprenticeship webpage