Funding available for small businesses to support hiring interns

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KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University's role in a statewide business/higher education network means Southwest Michigan businesses can get funding to help them hire WMU student interns in the science, technology, engineering and math—STEM—disciplines.

"This program provides matching funds to help small businesses in STEM fields hire WMU students to work on projects that are both beneficial to the company and academically relevant to students," says Lisa Garcia, director of WMU's Business Connection, which is part of MCRN—the Michigan Corporate Relations Network. MCRN is a statewide university network designed to create partnerships that will connect Michigan's corporations to critical university assets to help promote innovative research and grow Michigan's economy.

Small Company Internship Award Program

Garcia says MCRN's Small Company Internship Award Program will provide up to $2,800 in matching funds for a company to hire an intern for either the summer or fall. The funds will support a student internship at the recommended rate of $10 to $14 per hour. Companies may apply for the funds online by downloading a 2014 application at wmich.edu/businessconnection/hire.

Applications for this summer are due by April 15. Fall applications must be submitted by May 15.

This is the third year WMU has participated in the effort, Garcia says. During the first two years, the University's Business Connection had $25,000 to award—enough for eight to 10 internships. The success of the program at WMU led to a boost in available funds to $35,000 for 2014, which will fund 12 to 14 such internships.

For more information about the program, contact Lisa Garica at lisa.garcia@wmich.edu or (269) 387-0950.