KALAMAZOO — The Monroe-Brown Internship Program, a collaboration between Southwest Michigan First and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, has announced its 2012 internships offered by local companies to currently enrolled college students.

This year’s 43 internship offerings at 33 companies will be the program’s most ambitious to date with opportunities in engineering, health sciences, information technology, construction management, human resources, marketing, sales, financial management, environmental management and geographic information software.

Started in 2006, the Monroe-Brown Internship Program provides interns with $5,500 in scholarship funding for college and career experience through an internship paid for and supported by the Southwest Michigan business community. A number of interns have gone on to be hired by participating companies into full-time positions upon graduation. The program’s simple formula of allowing the employer and intern have a look at each other and see if it’s a fit has found tremendous success.

“It is the responsibility of every company in the region to aggressively market the positive aspects of living and working in Southwest Michigan in the most obvious place — here at home,” said Ron Kitchens, SMF CEO. “In order to be competitive in the next decade and beyond, our region must open the eyes our bright, young students to what opportunities are staring them in the face.”

Added Monroe-Brown Foundation president Robert M. Brown: “The mission of the Monroe-Brown Foundation is to support higher education in the state of Michigan and advance economic development in Southwest Michigan. We thank our 2012 partner companies for offering their generous employment opportunities across a broad range of academic disciplines.”

The program is open to in-coming juniors, seniors and graduate students at Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, the Kalamazoo campus of Davenport University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and second-year students at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Students attending Michigan State University and University of Michigan must have attended high school in the greater Kalamazoo area.

Once the intern is hired, he or she will work for the company for a minimum of 400 hours between May and September. This is typically full-time for 10 weeks, but can be customized to suit the needs of the individual companies and interns. Throughout the internship, the student will receive hourly wages, valuable networking opportunities and applied career experience.

Upon successful completion of the internship, as decided by the employing company and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, the intern can receive up to $5,500 in the form of a scholarship from the Monroe-Brown Foundation.  For tax purposes, all payments from the Monroe-Brown Foundation must be made directly to the school and applied to the student’s account.

Available internships can be found and applied for on the Southwest Michigan First Web site at this link.

Companies offering Monroe-Brown Internships in 2012 include:

American Village Builders Inc.; BASIC; Borgess Healthcare; Consumers Credit Union; CRB Consulting Engineers; CSM Group; Dimplex Thermal Solutions; Eaton corp.; Envirologic Technologies Inc.; Fabri-Kal; Harold Zeigler Auto Group; Humphrey Products; Imperial Beverage; Jasper Clinical Research and Development; Landscape Forms; LVM Capital Management; Miller-Davis Co.; Mol-Son Inc.; NanoVir; Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; Parker Hannifin; Proteos Inc.; Schupan & Sons Inc.; Southwest Michigan First; Southwest Michigan Innovation Center; Skansa USA Building; Tekna; Terra Consulting; Treystar Holdings Inc.; Wolverine Pipe Line Co.; and Workforce Strategies Inc.

Southwest Michigan First is an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic success in Southwest Michigan. Founded in 1999 on the principle that jobs and wealth creation exponentially affect the region’s future sustainability, it has since worked with its clients to create over 33,000 jobs and $3 billion in wealth for the community — and dramatically increase their bottom lines.  Southwest Michigan First has engaged with more than 10,000 contacts across all industries on the advantages of the eight counties making up the Southwest Michigan Region.

More at www.southwestmichiganfirst.com, or call (269) 553-9588.

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