Thomas Friedman"s New York Times' article "It Takes a Mentor" published September 9th, discusses a Gallup poll that found that "engaged" employees in the workplace often had a mentor in college who took an interest in them, and an internship before completing their degree.
As Friedman points out, often employers want college graduates ready to work in industry. There are discussions currently ongoing for more government-employer-education partnerships.
I have written an article that will be published in the October issue of the Journal for Quality and Participation that discusses the importance of internships and co-ops in preparing students to be "work-ready" . Be sure to watch for it.