Massachusetts Governor Baker Launches Internship Program, Provides Students with STEM Work Experience Opportunities – New Bedford Guide
More than $4 million in grants will pay student salaries in STEM jobs at local businesses.
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration is launching a new internship program that will provide 2,300 more high school students with opportunities for paid work experiences in STEM fields and make it easier for companies to hire students by paying their salaries through the local MassHire Career Centers and Workforce Councils. Around $4 million in grants will be awarded to the 16 Regional Manpower Boards and 24 Career Centers across the Commonwealth, enabling them to pay first-time students directly.
“This new STEM internship program will provide more Commonwealth students with foundational opportunities to gain meaningful work experience,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “Under this program, employers and students will both benefit, as the hiring process is streamlined and internships are made more financially feasible for both parties.”
“As Co-Chair of the STEM Advisory Council, I’ve heard from STEM employers and students that connecting early and often to STEM careers is critical to growing our economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn. Polito. “With this new scheme, we are targeting barriers to short-term employment and recruitment of young people, and by addressing these gaps, our administration hopes to boost the pipeline of STEM talent entering the Commonwealth workforce.”
With this new internship program, more than 10,000 students will participate in state-sponsored internships each year when combined with the Connecting Activities program. Connecting Activities is a joint initiative of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development that supports college and career readiness for high school students by partnering to local MassHire workforce councils to connect schools to businesses. Each year, approximately 7,700 secondary school students participate in Connecting Activities internships.
The new internship program aims to help more students – with preference given to those living in communities heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – to obtain high-quality paid internships in STEM fields to prepare them for future career and college opportunities. Internships can take place during the summer or school year and can be in-person or virtual, with a goal of 100 hours of work experience for each student.
“Here in the Commonwealth, the growth industries are in STEM professions, so including more students is very important,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “Through these internships, we want more high school students to gain work experience with STEM employers so they can make informed college and career decisions.”
Working with MassHire Career Centers and Workforce Councils will provide students with access to professionals who can help them prepare resumes, job applications, and coordinate with potential employers.
“Introducing young people across the Commonwealth to career opportunities in the high-demand STEM sector through paid internships is a win-win situation for students and employers,” said Rosalin Acosta, Secretary for Labor and Development of the workforce. “Our regional MassHire Career Centers and Workforce Councils are the perfect vehicle to connect interns with potential employers, while helping with program logistics.”
A portion of the grant will also be given to the MassLife Sciences Center and the Mass Cyber Center to expand their existing internship programs to an additional 300 students.
The administration will highlight this new STEM internship opportunity with employers at the upcoming STEM Summit, which will be held virtually and in person at regional venues across the Commonwealth. Register for STEM Summit 2022 this Thursday, April 28 here.