Internships are an effective personnel strategy for many organizations because they offer a way to fill short-term staffing needs as well as evaluate potential staff for permanent positions in the future—especially those who may be new to the workforce.

Internships can also be an effective strategy for expanding the diversity of your business workforce by increasing the number of employees with disabilities. Research shows that employers offering internships for people with disabilities are nearly 5 times more likely to hire a person with a disability than those who do not. Thus, for federal contractors, subcontractors, and private businesses, hiring interns with disabilities can be an effective strategy for advancing goals under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Untapped Arizona can assist your organization in this area by connecting you to interns with disabilities via the AZ Job Connection database. We have also found that some businesses choose to partner with local service providers to host job fairs and job matching programs for student interns with disabilities, while others have sponsored their own internship programs. The Untapped Arizona Marketplace, currently in development, will enable you to connect with service providers and other specialists who can help you develop an internship program for your business.