Lawmakers Advance Proposed Expanded Internship Program


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Lawmakers have voted to expand a state grant program that helps connect students with paid internships in Nebraska.

The proposal won first-round approval on Tuesday with a 26-0 vote. It builds on an existing state program, which awards matching grants to qualified companies that offer college internships.

Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege introduced a bill that would extend the program to first- and second-year college students, who aren't currently eligible. The bill would also allow nonprofits to participate.

It also would increase the maximum state matching grant to 75 percent, or $7,500, for each intern. To qualify for that amount, employers would have to show that students were federal Pell Grant recipients when they applied.

The program is overseen by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.