Businesses can get help with money to hire interns

Small business owners who have always wanted to hire an intern have an opportunity to do that if their business is a place students can learn science, technology, engineering or math. Southwest Michigan businesses now can obtain funding to hire Western Michigan University student interns thanks to the school's participation in a statewide network.

WMU is part of MCRN, a network designed to create partnerships that will connect Michigan's corporations to assets at state universities, to help promote innovative research, and grow Michigan's economy.

This is the third year WMU has participated in the program. During the first two years, the University's Business Connection had $25,000 to award--enough for eight to 10 internships.

The success of the program at WMU led to a boost in available funds. This year there are $35,000, which will fund 12 to 14 internships.

The network's small business Internship Award Program will provide up to $2,800 in matching funds for a company to hire an intern for either the summer or fall. Student interns are to be employed at the recommended rate of $10 to $14 per hour.

"This program provides matching funds to help small businesses in STEM fields hire WMU students to work on projects that are both beneficial to the company and academically relevant to students," says Lisa Garcia, director of WMU's Business Connection.

Companies may apply for the funds online by downloading a 2014 application hereApplications for this summer are due by April 15. Fall applications must be submitted by May 15. For more information about the program, contact Lisa Garica at or call (269) 387-0950.

Source: Cheryl Roland, Western Michigan University