STEM Internship Program Helps Minnesota Companies Meet Future Workforce Needs

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In its second year, SciTechsperience is a paid internship program offered by MHTA that offers college students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their field of study while working at small, STEM-based companies throughout Minnesota.

Is your company looking for a STEM intern in 2013? You’re in luck: the SciTechsperience Internship Program is back for what it hopes is a repeat performance of its pilot year’s success. The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) (www.MHTA.org) launched SciTechsperience in 2012 in order to expand the talent pool available to Minnesota science and technology companies. Minnesota will need an estimated 188,000 STEM workers by 2018 in order to keep up with evolving technology and retiring baby boomers. Therefore, the continuation of this program is an important step in preparing the state’s future STEM workers to meet real world challenges.
SciTechsperience is a paid internship program that matches college students studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines with small, for-profit companies in Minnesota with fewer than 100 employees. Hiring companies receive a dollar for dollar matching stipend for the intern’s wages. The match is capped at $2,500 and is available on a first come, first hired basis while funding lasts.

“We had a good sense that the program would be popular once the word got out about it, and that turned out to be very true,” said Becky Siekmeier, SciTechsperience Project Coordinator. “In 2012, 246 students and 60 companies applied to SciTechsperience from across the state. And these were bright kids – the average GPA of the applicants was 3.3.” Students and companies have been applying daily since the 2013 applications opened in late December.
“It is amazing to see the job descriptions submitted by the companies. The quality of experiences these kids will have is so exciting,” said Siekmeier. “The students will come away from these internships ready to apply what they’ve learned, both in their studies and in future jobs.”

Companies must meet the following eligibility requirements to participate in SciTechsperience:

  • Must be a for-profit company physically conducting business in Minnesota
  • Must have fewer than 100 employees
  • The internship must provide hands-on experience in the company’s industry
  • Eligible industries include: Aerospace and Defense; Ag, Food, Forestry; Biotech and Life Sciences; Fuels, Energy, Energy Management; IT/Computer Technology and Mining, Materials, Manufacturing and Processing

Learn more about the program here

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