In June 2009, Wichita Educational Foundation and Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) partnered with Next Generation Consulting (NGC) to study how to best retain and attract young professionals to the Wichita region. In 2010, interesting data emerged:

  • A large majority (71%) of business respondents said that internships were their most effective methods used to recruit new employees.
  • Many people living in Wichita right now do not fully realize the variety of career options available to them, and almost 50% of internship students accept permanent positions with their internship employers.
  • The retention of college graduates after five years of employment is 30% greater for internship graduates.

We know that students who have internship experiences while they’re in college are more likely to stay in that area. Interns should be looked at as a solid investment in Wichita’s future. Thus a recommendation was made to connect young people to Wichita’s career opportunities.

YPW’s goal was to develop a robust internship website that would attract college students both living in and outside of Wichita. In late 2012 (along with Visioneering and Wichita Downtown Development Corp.), YPW was fortunate to receive a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that allowed us to make this idea a reality.

After running the connection website from 2013-2016, the organization decided to put the program on hold in order to execute on other strategic priorities for YPW and the Wichita region. We will continue to partner with the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Wichita Partnership, and other organizations working on initiatives to advance the internship culture in our community.