internNE, Powered by Aksarben announces New Key Partnerships

internNE, Powered by Aksarben announces New Key Partnerships

October 26, 2023 – internNE, Powered by Aksarben aims to enhance internship opportunities by leveraging established community and regional organizations that have strong ties with local businesses. These organizations will play a pivotal role in improving internship experiences throughout Nebraska.

“In collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, we’re fostering local talent, attracting new talent to the workforce, and nurturing a bright future for Nebraska, all while giving businesses access to top-tier talent and fresh perspectives.” – Shonna Dorsey, Interim Executive Director of internNE, Powered by Aksarben.

“One of the biggest challenges facing our state is workforce and we’re in competition with every state in the country. We are thrilled that internNE, Powered by Aksarben is focused on retaining our most precious resource – talent – by connecting students with employers. This is one of the most important things we can do to shape our future.” – Sandra Reding, President, Aksarben Foundation.

The internNE, Powered by Aksarben initiative, in partnership with TeamMates Mentoring, will connect internship opportunities across Nebraska through Regional Project Coordinators. This partnership will provide support for employers through internship development and mentorship assistance, in collaboration with educational institutions and the organization of peer support events.

TeamMates’ Regional Project Coordinators will operate in designated community college regions. They will actively engage with educational institutions and businesses to implement and curate high-quality internships. The first round of Regional Project Coordinators through TeamMates will be focused on Western Nebraska.

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it, and TeamMates Mentoring is excited to partner with the Aksarben Foundation to prepare more Nebraska students with career readiness, workforce experience, and scholarship opportunities while keeping them engaged through tailored one-to-one mentoring from the employer.” – DeMoine Adams, CEO of TeamMates Mentoring.

Additionally, internNE, Powered by Aksarben has formed strategic partnerships with the Greater Omaha Chamber (GOC), the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (LCOC), the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Tech Nebraska.

These partners have committed to leveraging their extensive network of members to promote and encourage their participation in internNE, Powered by Aksarben. As part of their commitment, the GOC and the LCOC will also take the lead in organizing at least one networking and community engagement event for participating interns within the Omaha and Lincoln areas during each academic semester. These partnerships promise to significantly enrich the internship experience and foster stronger connections between businesses and educational institutions in the area.

“The Nebraska Chamber is excited to partner with the Aksarben Foundation to promote internNE, Powered by Aksarben. Nebraska’s workforce is changing rapidly, and internships can provide an opportunity for both students and employers to continue to navigate the changing workforce environment, while importantly helping to retain, recruit and encourage young talent to stay and start their careers in Nebraska. On behalf of the Nebraska Chamber, and our many local chamber colleagues throughout Nebraska, we encourage Nebraska businesses to learn more about how they can make a positive workforce impact through this internship initiative.” – Bryan Slone, President of Nebraska Chamber.

“We are excited to partner with the Aksarben Foundation to promote and expand internNE, Powered by Aksarben. Workforce is far and away the number one concern of our employer members, and this program aims to support the development and growth of Nebraska businesses, while also offering valuable opportunities to recruit or retain young talent. This collaboration will assist businesses with their workforce challenges and make it clear to students that we want to help them grow their careers in Nebraska. The Greater Omaha Chamber looks forward to connecting our members with talented interns and contributing to the growth of our community’s economy. We are grateful to our friends at Aksarben for leading this important initiative.” – Heath Mello, President & CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber.

“Internships play a pivotal role in tackling the workforce challenges in our state. As a business community, it is vital that we enhance the internship experiences we provide to students, ensuring they are both engaging and educational. As students map out plans for their futures, positive internships can significantly influence their likelihood of remaining members of our local workforce. I urge all members of Nebraska’s business community to learn more about this impactful program as we work together to cultivate a stronger workforce for tomorrow.” – Jason Ball, President & CEO, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.

“The Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with the Aksarben Foundation to help grow internNE, Powered by Aksarben. Workforce is always top of mind for our members in Northeast Nebraska, and programs like internNE are vital to solving this problem that faces most Nebraska employers. Not only will this partnership benefit the employers of Northeast Nebraska, but it will benefit the youth of all of Nebraska. Anything we can do to keep our kids here and working local is vital to the mission of our Chamber, which is growing commerce and connecting people.” – Austen Hagood, President & CEO, Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce

internNE, Powered by Aksarben represents a groundbreaking $20 million collaborative endeavor between the Aksarben Foundation and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. At its core, this initiative aims to bridge the gap between student interns and employers across the state by providing them with crucial financial support.

Focused on 11th and 12th-grade students, college attendees, and nontraditional students, internNE, Powered by Aksarben will offer them invaluable work experiences, with the goal of retaining local talent and attracting new workers to the state. Simultaneously, businesses will have the opportunity to shape their future workforce, access top-tier talent within the state, cultivate a pipeline of future employees, and gain fresh perspectives.

Employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are eligible for reimbursement of:

  • Wages paid to an intern
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Internship housing
  • Transportation expenses relating to the internship
  • Internship recruitment or administrative costs

Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are eligible for reimbursement of:

  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Internship housing
  • Recruitment or administrative costs

How to Jumpstart your internship program:

  • Register for a Symplicity account on the internNE website
  • Submit your internship job postings for review, see application deadlines below.
  • A notice of award will be sent by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development
  • If awarded, you will be contacted by a Regional Project Coordinator to help set up your Elevated Internship Experience.

See the application timeline below:

Students and employers should visit to log-in or register for the grant program.

Students and employers can visit to learn more and sign up for the newsletter to stay updated on program announcements. 

About Aksarben Foundation
Established in 1895, Aksarben is a unified network of business and community leaders committed to preserving and expanding prosperity in our heartland communities through advancements in education, workplace development and civic projects born from effective private, public, and philanthropic partnerships.  

About TeamMates
TeamMates Mentoring Program is a school-based nonprofit mentoring organization that began in 1991 by former University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy.  TeamMates serves 3rd thru 12th grade students by providing them with a volunteer from the community.  They meet one to one, and all meetings take place at the school during the school day.  TeamMates has helped over 47,000 students graduate from high school since its inception.  The mission of TeamMates is to positively impact the world by inspiring students to reach their full potential through mentoring.     

About Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The NE Chamber is the largest, statewide business association, proudly serving its members since 1912. It is where members of the business community gather to help make Nebraska the best place to own, operate and grow a business. Focused on delivering economic and workforce growth and a competitive business climate, members also gain a network of experienced, connected business leaders across the state. For more information visit

About Greater Omaha Chamber
Greater Omaha is a No. 1 ranked up-and-coming tech hotspot, a “top 10 best place to live on a $60,000 salary,” and one of the “best cities for young professionals,” according to SmartAsset. Greater Omaha is home to over 30 communities and nearly 1 million people. The mission of the Greater Omaha Chamber is to champion a thriving business community and a prosperous region through visionary leadership and collaboration.

About Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (LCOC) is Lincoln’s leading business organization, representing member businesses across our community by providing advocacy and connections to help businesses grow and thrive in Lincoln, Nebraska. We are committed to being a five-star accredited collaborative partner in Lincoln’s success as a place of endless opportunities and work closely with our partner organizations.

About Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce

The Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce mission is to serve and enhance the Norfolk Area by supporting economic vitality, advocating for businesses, and providing collaborative growth opportunities in order to be a premier resource for the success of the Norfolk Business community. Today, Norfolk is the major retail trade center for Northeast Nebraska, making it a popular destination for young growing families and entrepreneurs alike.

About Tech Nebraska

Tech Nebraska’s mission is to strengthen the state’s position as a leader in the future of technology and innovation and advocate for tech-forward public policies. The organization announced its formation in December of 2022 in partnership with the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Tech Nebraska is in the process of building capacity, with senior level information and technology officers helping to create the founding advisory board.