Each year, the Governor's Public Service Internship Program connects college students in Indiana with state agencies offering paid summer internships. These are great opportunities for students to gain experience and strengthen their resumes as they prepare for full-time employment after college.

Resumes are currently being accepted for this year's program, which also provides opportunities to work with state agency officials while partaking in an exclusive speaker series featuring various elected officials, state agency directors and other government representatives. Participants also interact with each other in order to learn and connect with their peers.

Not only are these paid positions at a rate of $11.30 per hour, but oftentimes, participants earn college credits for their work. All it takes is a conversation with their school's career or internship office.

To be considered, candidates must currently be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student with an accredited post-secondary institution and have completed at least one year of undergraduate education.

Among the 23 agencies hiring interns this summer are the Veteran's Home, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Correction, the State Library and White River State Park.

This program presents a variety of opportunities to help college students throughout Indiana gain valuable, hands-on experience. Whether it's with the Arts Commission, Department of Child Services or Office of Technology, there are internships available to help students launch their careers.

Internships have become key in today's economy. Graduates who gained experience by interning have a much better chance of obtaining full-time employment. In addition to getting a foot in the door with potential employers, internships help students network, establish relationships with mentors, learn new skills and explore their chosen field - all while getting paid and earning college credits.

With the Governor's Public Service Internship Program, there is a range of opportunities. From marketing, to research and bridge design, even veterinary work, there are multiple positions open to help prepare the state's future workforce.

Hamilton County is home to very bright students, and the state would benefit tremendously by putting their talents to work. For a list of state agencies seeking interns for this summer and to apply, visit www.in.gov/spd/careers/internships.htm.

Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at h29@in.gov.