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Program aims to keep Vermont grads

Aug 4th, 2011 - Written by Free Press Staff
 
Vermont has launched a new program designed to attract young employees in the fields of engineering, science and technology.
 
The STEM incentive, announced by Gov. Peter Shumlin last week, provides $1,500 per year for up to five years to recent college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) hired by Vermont companies. The program, modeled after efforts to attract medical and nursing school graduates to Vermont, aims to help students pay off their college loans and meet the state's professional employment needs.
 
"A lot of employers are struggling to find engineers and others to fill highly technical positions," said Patricia Moulton Powden, deputy secretary in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
 
She said $75,000 has been allotted annually for two years in a pilot version of the program, which debuted July 1. The incentive is available to college graduates in specific high-tech positions that pay $50,000 or more in salary and benefits.
 
Applications must be filed within 30 days of being hired. Recipients who switch employers can maintain the benefit if they stay in qualified positions.
 
"We understand how critical the human capital needs are for high tech positions," Shumlin said in a news release. "This STEM initiative will help Vermont companies attract the workforce so essential to their success and enhance their ability to compete. Further, it will help recent graduates with the burden of college debt."
 
On the Web
 
For more information on the STEM incentive program -- including eligibility requirements, qualified positions and an online application -- go to: http://bit.ly/stemvt.

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