Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and House Speaker Robert DeLeo this week toured MassRobotics, the innovation hub for robotics and connected devices in Boston, and met with executives and interns from growing Massachusetts companies that have benefitted from the MassTech Intern Partnership program. MassRobotics is a strategic partner of the Robotics Summit & Expo, which is produced by The Robot Report.
The MassTech Intern Partnership is a six-year old program in Massachusetts that provides cash stipends to support internships at growing tech companies. The internship program supported 200 interns at 112 Massachusetts firms in 2019. The program focused on the promotion of four priority sectors, with the robotics industry leading the way:
- Robotics – 47 interns
- Digital health – 41 interns
- IoT – 19 interns
- Cybersecurity – 9 interns
The remaining interns were placed at a variety of tech sector companies.
The MassTech Intern Partnership gives recent graduates a start into competitive industries that often rely on employees with prior experience, even at the entry level. The program increases the likelihood of students staying in Massachusetts after they graduate by rooting their technology career networks at in-state companies. The stipends also help small, fast-growing companies hire student interns that otherwise would not have the financial resources to support. In doing so, the program promotes economic equity, as many students lack the financial stability to pursue these valuable opportunities valuable as unpaid interns.
“MassRobotics is glad so many of our startups were able to take advantage of the MassTech Internship program and we were honored to host Lt. Gov Polito and Speaker DeLeo to highlight some of their work,” said Tom Ryden, executive director at MassRobotics. “It is important to expose students to technology developed in the state and to the variety of jobs that are available at these tech companies to get them excited about a career in a STEM field. The MassTech Internship program gives early stage start-ups the opportunity to bring in the qualified student interns to help them grow.”
Since the program’s launch in 2013, the MassTech Intern Partnership has supported nearly 800 interns at 324 tech firms across Massachusetts. These college and graduate student interns worked in a wide variety of technology companies in fields such as robotics, IoT, digital health, software and platform companies, cybersecurity, marketing tech, manufacturing, AI, education tech, big data and FinTech.
“Massachusetts’ highly skilled workforce is a key driver of the Commonwealth’s leading innovation economy, and ensuring a robust pipeline of new talent continues to be a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Lt. Governor Polito, who co-chairs the Commonwealth’s STEM Advisory Council. “Successful programs like the MassTech Intern Partnership, which has supported nearly 800 interns at startups across the state, provide hands-on training opportunities at growing companies, bolstering the companies’ operations and giving participants a foothold into the job market.”
Applications for the next round of the stipend program will open in spring 2020.
“The MassTech Intern Partnership Program sends a powerful message to innovators and entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth and around the globe: when it comes to the innovation economy, Massachusetts is the place to be,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “I am very proud of the success of this House-initiated program and I thank MassTech for its passionate commitment to implementing it, as well as the companies and students who have participated.”