BY SUSAN HALL
You could say that Connecticut’s tired of losing its young tech students and isn’t going to take it anymore. Being so close to New York City, one of the hottest tech job markets out there, certainly poses a challenge.
But Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public agency, is offering small, technology-based businesses in the state up to $25,000 to take on a college intern or team of students to solve some technical problem that can be addressed in three to nine months. The money is to be used to pay the students, so don’t even think about offering an unpaid internship. The projects are to begin this summer or fall and continue in subsequent semesters. Companies have to outline their proposed projects in their applications.
Called the Technology Talent Bridge Program, the idea is to forge ties between potential employers and students before they graduate to encourage them to stay in the state, to provide real-world experience and to create jobs. It’s certainly not unique to Connecticut. For all the tech talent educated in Massachusetts and the opportunities there, employers there are working hard to engage with students early.
According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 8.5 percent more interns this year. And it recently reported that interns in engineering ($18.54 an hour) and computer science ($17.77) command the biggest paychecks among college students, reflecting the demand for them. Since it’s so close to summer now and savvy students have been shaking the bushes for internships for a couple of months now, this program actually doesn’t offer employers much time.