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Iowa Student Internship Program

Growth Programs

Iowa student interns in a learning environment with whiteboard.

Assisting Businesses with a Future Workforce & Linking Iowa Students to Careers

The Iowa Student Internship Program provides grants to small and medium-sized companies in targeted industries to support internship programs with a goal of transitioning interns to full-time employment in Iowa upon graduation. The goal is to retain educated workers in Iowa.

  • Iowa employers may qualify for financial assistance on a matching basis for a portion of the wages paid to an intern during the designated internship period
    • For every two dollars of wages earned by the student, one dollar paid by the employer is matched by one dollar from the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and up to $3,100 per intern
    • Funds generated through any state source cannot be used as matching funds; federal funding is an eligible match
  • A company is eligible for a maximum of 3 internships per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30)
  • Funds can only be used for reimbursement of wages during the designated internship period
  • Funds spent prior to receiving an award will not be reimbursed
  • Funds cannot be used to cash flow a business

Export Internships

Through this program, employers are also able to hire students as export interns to support a company's current or prospective international export efforts. Resources are available through the universities to assist employers in finding qualified interns, to support the student during their export internship and to assist companies in exporting. Contacts for these resources are found on this page under "Resources."

Who Qualifies?


  • Must be in a targeted industry:  bioscience, advanced manufacturing or information technology
  • Employers eligible:
    • Must have 500 or fewer employees, with a significant portion employed within Iowa
    • Must pay at least twice the minimum hourly wage (minimum $14.50/hour)
    • Must offer the internship(s) to students of Iowa community colleges, private colleges, regents universities or to students who graduated from an Iowa high school and attend a college or university outside of Iowa
    • Must employ student(s) that are within one to two years of graduation (undergraduate or graduate student)
    • Must offer either summer or semester internship(s)
      • Summer internship must last a minimum of 8 weeks (averaging no less than 30 hours per week)
      • Summer 2023 internships must be completed by September 2023
      • Semester internship must last a minimum of 14 weeks (averaging no less than 10 hours per week)


  • Must be employed at an Iowa location
  • Must participate in a substantive experience in one or more of the following areas: research and development, engineering, process management and production, product experimentation and analysis, product development, market research, exporting, business planning or administration
  • Must be a student at one of the Iowa community colleges, private colleges, Regent universities or a student who graduated from high school in Iowa but attends an institution of higher learning outside of Iowa
  • Must be within 1 to 2 years of graduation (undergraduate or graduate student) ) ***Students that have recently graduated, and are no longer current students, are INELIGIBLE for this program***

How Do I Apply?

  • Applications for the FY 2024 program period will open July 1, 2023. Click here to apply.


Related Programs

STEM Internship Program



Janece Hicks
Workforce Program Assistant