NORTH ADAMS — Small business accelerator Lever is recruiting companies to host summer internships through its Berkshire Interns program.

With the program, Lever provides a network to the companies that hire and pay the interns — as well as programming and support for students who participate in the full-time, 10-week internships.

Jade Schnauber, the organization's workforce programs manager, said Lever is looking for any companies, big or small, that are interested in hosting interns.

"We help these companies market to colleges," she said. "We have access to over 100 colleges via the job boards we're on, and we go attend job fairs, so it allows more opportunities for the local Berkshire region to be displayed at colleges, without companies having to send individual representatives."

Many companies in the program have participated in the previous three summers, but Lever also wants new organizations to join the program. Companies as big as Mountain One Bank and as small as Pittsfield's Whole Life Pet Products have had interns in the program.

The organization's internship portal already has three job postings, including two at Berkshire County Arc and one at Lever. The portal can be found at berkshireinterns.org.

"We do know it's early right now for a lot of companies," Schnauber said. "But this is when a lot of students start thinking about summer, and that'll just ramp up as we get to March. We tell companies, 'It's never too early to start.'"

A separate but related program also has an upcoming deadline. Lever has opened an Inclusive Internship Preparation Program to help students of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, students with disabilities and other underrepresented groups apply to internships.

“We’ll be helping them gear up to apply to these internships,” Schnauber said. “Either in the local area, or if they decide to go elsewhere, that’s fine too.”

The program is free, and students have until Tuesday to apply at tinyurl.com/biinclusive.

Francesca Paris can be reached at fparis@berkshireeagle.com and 510-207-2535.

Francesca Paris covers North Adams for The Berkshire Eagle. A California native and Williams College alumna, she has worked at NPR in Washington, D.C. and WBUR in Boston, as a news reporter, producer and editor. Find her on Twitter at @fparises.