By: Piper Cleaveland | SciTech Program Director

As any entrepreneur will tell you, starting and running a small business is a lot of work. For those within the tech, medtech, engineering or manufacturing industries (basically anything that might be considered STEM) the State of Minnesota wants to make the process a little easier, particularly when it comes to finding affordable talent.

Employers who hire their interns through the SciTech Internship Program are granted a $2,500 wage match to cover half of what they pay their students. And with the program hiring limit set at five interns per program year, that’s $12,500 in financial support that small employers can tap into, all while connecting with talented young professionals eager to enter their field.

The campus connection
While SciTech primarily acts as an online job board, the program also provides supplementary HR services for its users, doing all the heavy lifting of recruiting so you don’t have to. So long as companies are registered to do business in Minnesota, are offering a paid internship in a STEM capacity and have 250 or fewer employees worldwide, they’ll be eligible to apply.

Given that the median employee count of companies who use SciTech is only 18 people, teams of that size don’t always have a representative dedicated to finding and bringing in new talent. SciTech, on the other hand, does.

No time to attend career fairs? No problem! SciTech brings the talent to you. Every year, SciTech’s Student Outreach staff attends 25+ campus events at colleges and universities across the state. From trade schools and technical colleges to private universities and the UofM, SciTech is tabling at career fairs and sponsoring STEM student groups, meeting students on the employer’s behalf and getting them on the site to apply.

“As a small business, we wouldn’t have really known where or how to find quality STEM interns to help us with development… SciTech already knew where they were, and we were really impressed by the quality of applicants and with the three interns that we ended up bringing on board,” said Mike Norton, President and COO of Railbox Consulting.

Small companies can also refer their own candidates to the program. So long as the students meet the eligibility requirements, employers can hire them through SciTech, reserving a grant to cover half of their wages.


Only the best
Anyone who’s gone through the interviewing and hiring process knows the familiar struggle of sorting through unqualified profiles while on the search for that perfect someone. Well, SciTech takes care of that too.

Only students who meet the program requirements are eligible to participate. To begin with, only STEM majors may apply, to ensure the candidates are pursuing areas of study that relate to the opportunities available on the site.

Students must also show that they’re at least half-way through an undergrad degree or pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. This guarantees that SciTech students are coming to their internships with at least a foundational knowledge and skillset that reduces time spent on training.

When it comes to GPA, SciTech has a 2.5+ minimum, to make the level of entry more accessible to students with a variety of testing abilities and academic achievements. Some of the greatest success stories to come out of the SciTech Program are from students like Hannah Lender, who defined her success through her passion and dedication for engineering, not her test scores.

Lastly, candidates need to be currently enrolled in college courses. This enables employers to connect with students during a crucial stage of their academic career, where the skills they learn in class can impact the skills they learn in industry and vice versa. Internships held during junior and senior year also establish strong pipelines into industry, so once a student graduates, they can easily transition into full-time work.

“SciTech has been our best source for finding quality talent,” said Vincent Truong, COO and Co-Founder of Anatomic Inc. “As a start-up, every team member is critical. The program paired us with motivated students and allowed us to train and assess whether they were a match for a long-term position with the company. We plan to send full time job offers to our latest two interns.”

Investing in our future
For the entrepreneur or small business owner who thinks, ‘I’d love to hire an intern, but I can’t really afford to right now.’ The SciTech wage match provides financial support as well.

With the assurance of a 50 percent return on investment, employers can offer their interns competitive pay, or afford to hire more than they otherwise would. One student working alone now has a cohort of peers they can rely on, and companies can get more work done at a fraction of the cost.

“SciTech is an invaluable partner to small or mid-sized employers who may otherwise have difficulty hiring interns due to budget and resource constraints,” said Lisa Schoening, HR Director at Aroplax Corp. “They make it very easy for employers to find and hire exceptional interns and play a key role in preparing and retaining talented students in MN.”

At its core, that’s what SciTech is all about: building and retaining Minnesota’s STEM workforce. By acting as the connector between the impressive talent coming from higher education in our state and the significant industry players that make Minnesota a hub for innovation, we can bridge the employment gap and strengthen our STEM economy.

The SciTech Internship Program runs year-round, but the 300 wage matches that are available from Sept 1, 2023 through Aug 31, 2024 are claimed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Enroll today and post your first job to start connecting with talent.

Questions about the program can be sent to SciTech’s Program Director, Piper Cleaveland at