Gov. Phil Murphy advanced two initiatives today designed to help grow New Jersey’s innovation economy, including a STEM Student Loan Forgiveness Program and an NJ Career Accelerator Internship program.

NJBIA said it supported the intent behind both proposals, but had concerns about the mandated employer match contained in the proposed loan forgiveness program for STEM careers.

“The voluntary internship program is a great idea that we have previously supported, but requiring employers to contribute to a student loan forgiveness program is concerning,” said NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka, Esq.

“If approved by the Legislature, it would be another new cost to New Jersey employers on top of a stream of mandates over the past few months with more mandates in the pipeline to come,” Siekerka said.

“We at NJBIA are a champion of retaining New Jersey’s next generation of workers and believe programs like this one should be part of a comprehensive discussion for how we retain our future workforce,” Siekerka said.

Funding for both initiatives would need to be approved by the Legislature during the budget process.

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