Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties.

NLEA Hosts MI STEM Forward Info Session

With the region, state, and nation facing a talent crunch, the NLEA is seeking innovative ways to support local businesses. On Wednesday, June 15th, the NLEA hosted a virtual info session for local businesses on MI STEM Forward. The program provides recruiting, administrative, and financial support for business with internship positions in the general fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Launched in 2021, it is statewide initiative through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor Spark. Ben Ernst and Nick Joblonski of MI STEM Forward shared how the program allows businesses to search their database of interns; handles administrative tasks such as payroll and forms for international students; and provides matching dollars to help pay an intern’s wages. Ann Arbor SPARK will pay up to 50 percent of the intern’s wages for a 10 to 12-week internship period, up to $3,000 for a full-time intern and up to $1,500 for a part-time intern. The goal of the program is to offer professional development opportunities in STEM positions to students who are from or are studying in Michigan, ultimately keeping talent in the state.

Businesses do not have to be in a STEM field to participate. A restaurant could hire a computer science major to develop an app. A retailer could hire someone studying engineering, mathematics, or computer science to develop an automated system to track inventory. If you are interested in learning more about the program, check out the MI STEM Forward website or contact

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