Host a Summer High School Internship

Posted December 12, 2023

Workplace Learning Connection (WLC) at Kirkwood Community College provides career exploration and work-based learning experiences for thousands of high school students each year.  One of Workplace Learning Connection’s major service offerings is the high school internship program for students in grades 11 – 12 (ages 16 – 18) to help students gain real-world experience with local businesses. Interns develop employability behaviors that prepare them for the workplace and gain insight to help them make informed postsecondary choices. WLC helps coordinate placements for students based on their area of interest and helps prepare them to be successful in those internships. Students are able to earn college credit for their experiences as well.


WLC is currently facing demand for internships that is greater than the number of businesses available to host these interns. WLC anticipates needing to find placements for over 225 students to meet current demands for summer 2024 internships. Hundreds of businesses across our region are involved in hosting high school interns as a way to address their current and future workforce needs.


Benefits of hosting a high school intern include:

  • Develop relationships with potential future employees, creating a funnel for more qualified candidates down the road.
  • Bring in an extra set of hands, new ideas, and a student eager to help with projects.
  • Increase student awareness of career opportunities within your business or industry sector.
  • Help build Iowa’s future workforce and having a direct influence on pipeline development.

Impact by the Numbers: 2022 – ’23 academic year

  • Approximately 41% of WLC interns were offered additional opportunities by their hosts following the completion of their internship hours.
  • 91% of interns said it increased their awareness of local career opportunities.
  • 86% of interns said their internship influenced their selection of career field.
  • 63% of interns said it positively influenced their decision to live and work in Iowa.

Businesses and industries across the state are struggling with workforce issues. Hosting internships and job shadows through Workplace Learning Connection is another vital and viable way to help address these issues, providing both long- and short-term benefits for both parties.


WLC makes it easy to host an intern, and there are many ways to engage. If you’d like to learn more about how your business can get involved, please contact Rochelle Sowers at