Ann Arbor SPARK launching STEM-focused student internship program

The Michigan STEM Forward internship program recently placed its 500th intern. (©Viacheslav Iakobchuk -

ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor SPARK and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) are launching Michigan STEM Forward, a statewide program that matches students attending Michigan colleges and universities with internship opportunities at the state’s leading innovative companies.

Companies do not have to be in a specific industry, but all internships must be STEM-focused.

Michigan STEM Forward provides students meaningful career experience and promotes job retention in the state, while providing financial support to companies who hire these interns.

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Based on Ann Arbor SPARK’s successful internship match program, the state tapped the regional economic development organization to steer the new statewide initiative, working with regional SmartZone service organizations to connect companies with interested students.

“Ann Arbor SPARK is thrilled to leverage our decade of experience running our own Ann Arbor-based internship program and take the opportunity to administer the Michigan STEM Forward program on behalf of the state,” said Bill Mayer, Ann Arbor SPARK’s vice president of entrepreneurial services. “We have a solid track record of delivering results that help both businesses and job seekers: Of the students that participated in our internship program over the last five years, 84 percent of them accepted jobs in Michigan upon graduation.

“It’s vital that we not only attract talent to Michigan, but retain aspiring jobseekers post-graduation as a strategy to extend the pipeline of workers available to growing companies.”

Read: Business expansions bring high-wage jobs, new investments to Ann Arbor region

The program will place 425-450 STEM students currently attending Michigan colleges annually into STEM-focused internships throughout Michigan.

For more information and to apply, visit