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graduate retention

Keeping the best and brightest here

The Northeast Indiana Graduate Retention Program (GRP), a division of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, works to connect education and industry in Northeast Indiana to create a skilled, successful economy and workforce.  GRP fulfills its mission by promoting student internships and by developing community partnerships to bridge the gap between industry and education. 

An internship is a short-term, hands-on learning experience that allows a student to explore a particular career field. Internship experiences benefit both the students and employers involved: for students, internships are a way of gaining experience and knowledge for a future career goal; for employers, internships provide an extra pair of hands for projects, fresh perspectives and ideas, and access to potential future employees. Think of it like hiring a short-term employee for a sneak peek into your organization—whom you might even choose to hire after the “test run”.

GRP works with employers to develop their internship programs and post their opportunities on the website We then promote your internship opportunities to Northeast Indiana students, who apply for your positions directly through the website. It’s a win-win for our region’s students and for your organization, and all of our services are free.

In addition to internships, GRP offers the following programs and events for employers, educators, and students:

Consortiums are short, experiential learning opportunities for high school educators, similar to an externship or an internship.  They allow participants to learn about industries in Northeast Indiana for the purpose of implementing real-world ideas into their classrooms, enhancing their eagerness for the material they teach, and giving their students a more relevant learning experience.  The events occur once a month during the school year and take place at varying area businesses.

The Industry to Educator Externship is a week-long exploration of Northeast Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related industries for high school and middle school educators.  The Externship facilitates shared experiences between local educators, provides teachers with valuable industry connections for classroom speaking and career advising, and encourages collaboration between school administrators and local leadership.  The event takes place every summer and is possible through a partnership with NIDIA.

TechFest is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career preparation and networking opportunity for teens disguised as a full-day video game tournament and problem-solving competition.  Northeast Indiana high schools send teams of students to compete while networking with area universities and STEM-related organizations.  The vision of this event is to foster curiosity for STEM careers and to establish a model of cooperation between business and educators.

Live, Learn, and Intern is a series of free summer events for college interns in Northeast Indiana during which interns can explore regional attractions, network with other interns, and ideally realize what our area has to offer.

Here’s what one business had to say about the Graduate Retention Program:

"Our company benefits because the Graduate Retention Program allows us to find talented and eager individuals that can provide the level of service our clients expect. Everyone wins!" Rich Hart, triPRACTIX

For more information on developing an internship program for your business or other Graduate Retention programs or events, contact Sarah Plew at or call (260) 424-1435.