STEM Forward logo
Recorded June 1, 2021

Michigan colleges produce exceptional talent, perfect for the state’s large number of innovative, growing companies. By participating in the STEM Forward internship program, companies can review resumes from the state’s top aspiring talent. Financial assistance for qualifying companies may be available.

STEM Forward participating companies must be:

  • Michigan-based or have a strong operational presence in Michigan
  • A legal entity (C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, LLP, B-Corp, nonprofits, etc.) of any size

Find Your Next Intern

Complete a company application to begin your partnership with Michigan STEM Forward.

How STEM Forward Works
  • Once an application is approved, companies will have access to the intern resume database and details regarding a candidate’s preferred industries, locations, and availability. Companies also may bring their own intern candidates into the program.
  • After selecting the intern, your company representative will work with Ann Arbor SPARK to begin the onboarding process. The student intern will be hired directly by Ann Arbor SPARK as a temporary W-2. SPARK will handle all payroll, tax, and compliance responsibilities.
  • Ann Arbor SPARK will pay 50 percent of the intern’s wages for a 10 – 12-week internship period, $3,000 for a full-time intern and $1,500 for a part-time intern.
  • Your company will pay the remaining 50 percent match directly to Ann Arbor SPARK broken into individual payroll intervals. As with Ann Arbor SPARK’s amount detailed above, this will be $3,000 for a full-time intern and $1,500 for a part-time intern. In addition, companies will be charged 12 percent of wages to cover FICA, FUTA taxes, and worker’s compensation associated with direct wages.
  • 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 the match has been exhausted the company is responsible for 100 percent of the cost.
  • Although most internships run over the summer, your organization can apply to participate year-round. Also, while your organization can apply for multiple internships, the final number of positions awarded will depend on fund availability and alignment to the qualification criteria below.

Application Review

Applications are evaluated by your local economic development organization as part of their referral. Companies applying to participate in STEM Forward will be evaluated according to several key criteria, including the following: 

  • Technology-focused businesses are preferred.
  • The organization’s financial need.
  • The internship’s job description, specifically its relevance to STEM fields and overall work experience.
  • An organization’s previous experience working with interns, as well as the proposed intern supervisor.
  • Strength of referring organization’s recommendation.
  • The organization’s current hiring status. (What is the availability of open positions and is the company actively hiring.)
  • A referral from your local economic development organization is a necessary part of your application. The STEM Forward team will send a request to the representative you identify in your application on your behalf. However, we highly encourage you to connect with this organization beforehand to ensure a strong referral. If you aren’t sure who that is, you can find your representative using our SmartZone directory or working with an SBDC representative.
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