With the books about to close on 2013, many business owners are starting to plan for the year ahead. For some, this may include projecting what level of staffing support may be needed throughout the year.

Many businesses, especially small businesses, find that internships are an effective strategy for filling anticipated short-term or seasonal staffing needs. What’s more, they offer a way to evaluate potential future permanent employees, especially those who may be new to the workforce.

Throughout the year, the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) can help employers interested in hiring qualified interns. Through it, employers gain access to a database of almost 1,400 pre-screened and highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities, seeking temporary or permanent employment in a variety of fields. All participants have been selected for the program based on an extensive application process.

Just one example is Frankie Walls, a WRP participant hired as a Safety Analyst intern by charter airline Miami Air International in 2012. Through this opportunity, Frankie, a highly motivated MBA graduate, gained the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the company’s operations and its industry in depth. In exchange, Miami Air gained a skilled team member. During his internship, Frankie put his business training to work to successfully facilitate Miami Air’s transition to a new Content Management System.

Use of the WRP is free for all employers and facilitated through the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), a service of the National Employer Technical Assistance Center funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. To learn more, visit the WRP webpage or call EARN at 1-855-AskEARN (1-855-275-3276) (Voice/TTY).