STEM Forward Participating CompaniesBy participating in the STEM Forward internship program, your company can build – or continue to build – your STEM talent needs.
Michigan colleges produce exceptional talent, perfect for the state’s large number of innovative, growing companies. STEM Forward is a statewide program administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The program provides financial support to Michigan companies who hire interns in STEM-focused internships by matching employer contributions up to $3,000 for full-time interns and up to $1,500 for part-time interns.
STEM Forward aims to foster meaningful, hands-on career experiences for students interested in STEM-related positions and supporting Michigan companies – of all sizes – with building their STEM talent pipeline.
How to Get Started
- Employers must first complete the one-time Company Application form linked above.
- Once the form is successfully submitted, a MEDC staff member will reach out within 5 business days to confirm your company’s participation in the program and provide next steps for submitting an internship for program funding consideration.
- If the internship is approved, MEDC’s third-party payroll administrator will work with your company representative to onboard the intern into its system for payroll, tax, and compliance responsibilities.
- Although most internships run over the summer, your company can apply to participate year-round. The final number of positions awarded will depend on fund availability and alignment to the qualification criteria below.
How the STEM Forward Internship Program Works for Participating Companies
- MEDC will match an employer’s contribution up to $3,000 for a full-time intern and up to $1,500 for a part-time intern or until 12 weeks of the internship have passed – whichever comes first.
- MEDC’s contribution will be applied to the intern’s wages and your company will pay the remaining match contribution to MEDC’s payroll administrator via individual payroll intervals. In addition, companies will be charged 12 percent of wages to cover FICA, FUTA taxes, and workers compensation associated with direct wages.
- If the MEDC contribution is reached before the internship is over, your company’s contribution will shift to 100% for the remainder of the internship. Your company can keep the intern with MEDC’s payroll administrator (for a $3 per payroll hour administrative payroll fee), or your company can onboard the intern.
- Full-time is considered 30 hours or more. Part-time is considered 29 hours or less.
- The minimum wage for this program is $15 per hour. Companies are welcome to set their own wage above that amount with the understanding that, once MEDC’s match has been exhausted, the company is responsible for 100% of the cost.
Does your Company Qualify for the Program?
Companies applying to participate in STEM Forward will be evaluated according to several key criteria, including the following:
- The company’s ties to Michigan: Companies must be Michigan-based or have a strong operational presence in Michigan.
- Any size company is eligible — from enterprise organizations to startups — so long as it is a legal entity (e.g., C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, LLP, B-Corp, nonprofits)
- Technology-focused businesses are preferred.
- A company’s previous experience working with interns.
How will Internships be Evaluated?
Participating employers must submit an internship submission form (one per internship) for MEDC staff to review and approve.
Internships will be evaluated on several key criteria, including the following:
- The position description and it’s relevancy to STEM fields.
- On-site work experience in Michigan for at least one week.
- The proposed intern supervisor. Participating companies must provide a direct supervisor to the intern that is capable and willing to provide a meaningful work and career experience.
- Internship candidate qualifications can be found on the STEM Forward website.
Please reach out to MEDC at email@example.com with any questions.