<< All News Thursday, April 13, 2023 - 09:00 am

The North Dakota Department of Commerce is celebrating Internship Awareness Month this April.

“Internships provide valuable opportunities for both businesses and our future workforce,” Commerce Workforce Division Director Katie Ralston Howe said. “Attracting workers through programs such as Operation Intern are essential tools to help meet our state’s workforce needs.”

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, company hires who have interned with the employer are 32% more likely to be retained than hires with no internship experience. Administered by Commerce, Operation Intern is a grant program designed to expand the number of internships with North Dakota employers. The program focuses on creating new internships within the state’s targeted industries: energy, advanced manufacturing, value-added agriculture, tourism and technology-based businesses. Funding may also be granted for other in-demand occupations on the Workforce Development Council’s In-Demand Occupations Annual List.

In 2023, 62 companies have been awarded Operation Intern grants, impacting 217 interns, a marked increase from 2022. Companies in the energy and tourism industry led the increase in applications.

During a program year, eligible employers may receive up to $20,000 per funding round or $40,000 per biennium. Employers are limited to a maximum of five interns for each funding round. Funding can be used for items needed for the intern to perform their internships such as wages, tools and equipment, essential training, or tuition reimbursement. The funding is a one-to-one match.

A company’s eligibility is based on qualifying industry and internship criteria. Funding is obligated to the companies that have met all guidance eligibility. The next application will open February 1, 2024.

More information can be found at belegendary.link/NDInternships.


The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.

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