A new internship program for college students in STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – and funded by a $150,000 Minnesota Science & Technology Authority (MnSTA) grant is drawing interest from businesses and students statewide.
The MnSTA grant to the Minnesota High Tech Association late last year established SciTechsperience to offer college students studying STEM subjects hands-on experience in for-profit companies. SciTechsperience, modeled after similar internship programs in Nebraska and Ohio, is designed to expand the pool of talent to support Minnesota companies commercializing new technology, products and processes.
Sixty internships will be funded throughout the state, according to Betsy Lulfs, MnSTA executive director. Currently 39 businesses are registered and 11 students from a pool of 115 have been placed in internships since SciTechsperience was launched in February.
“SciTechsperience has been wildly popular with both students and employers,” said Lulfs. “Businesses are telling us a priority is retaining young talent, and this program helps them find and screen talent. Students, hungry for an internship experience, are firming up their summer plans.”
SciTechsperience interns receive a paid-work experience with potential for full-time employment. Businesses receive matching dollars up to $2,500 for wages paid. A business must have fewer than 100 employees to be eligible for SciTechsperience.