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4th Annual Lehigh Valley Internship Summit Builds Connections for a Brighter Lehigh Valley

By Glenn Koehler on August 2, 2022

Human resources professionals, employers, educators, and representatives from more than 70 regional businesses, colleges, universities, and non-profits came together on July 28th for the 4th annual Lehigh Valley Internship Summit organized by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). This year’s Summit, hosted at Northampton Community College, served as a networking and educational opportunity aimed at helping employers establish new or strengthen existing internship programs and connecting them with the region’s colleges and universities.

Held in person for the first time since 2019, over 75 attendees heard from industry experts on an array of topics. The Summit was previously held virtually in 2020 and 2021, and the inaugural event was hosted at Moravian University in 2019.

“Being able to connect businesses large and small with each other and to our local colleges, universities, and technical schools is crucial to laying the foundation for a robust and diverse local workforce,” said Karianne Gelinas, Vice President of Regional Partnerships and Talent Strategies at LVEDC. “These conversations are important in creating a bright future in the Lehigh Valley.”

Experts from Victaulic and the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley led attendees through sessions focused on driving success in internship programs at businesses and non-profits spanning small businesses with limited staff to global entities with thousands of employees. Panelists from B. Braun Medical, PPL Electric Utilities, Air Products, OraSure Technologies Inc., and Lehigh University participated in a conversation highlighting the significance of diversity, equity, and inclusion related to internship programs and recruiting talent.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about how top Lehigh Valley companies are obtaining and retaining Interns. The resources, opportunities, discussions, and connections that the Internship Summit provides is a value that cannot be matched,” attendee Caroline Ferreri, Talent Acquisition Partner at Crayola, remarked following the event. “All companies, no matter their size, were given many valuable tips on how to attract, retain, and grow their interns.”

Born out of LVEDC’s Education & Talent Supply Council’s work group on internships, co-ops, apprenticeships, and mentorships, the Summit is part of a broad initiative to ensure that students gain exposure to and experience with local employers and that employers have access to the talent pipeline. This supports the effort to convert Lehigh Valley postsecondary students and interns into full-time Lehigh Valley workers and residents. Interest and demand in learning best practices for internship programs from the area’s leading employers has gained momentum since the Summit’s inception.

“With the combined efforts of the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, local colleges and universities, career/technical schools, and K-12 school districts, the Lehigh Valley’s talent pipeline is now more connected and robust than ever,” said Gelinas.

More information about LVEDC’s Education & Talent Supply Council can be found at lehighvalley.org/grow-here/talent-retentionworkforce-resources. Interested parties can sign up for LVEDC’s weekly newsletter for current information on internship initiatives and the 2023 LV Internship Summit. This year’s Summit was generously supported by Gold Sponsors B. Braun Medical and Crayola and Silver Sponsor Penn State Lehigh Valley.

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2020 Gross Domestic Product

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