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Lagana Introduces Legislation to Support STEM Entrepreneurs

Bill Would Establish Fellowship Program to Advance Ideas of Potential Job Creators in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Assemblyman Joseph Lagana has introduced legislation to help strengthen New Jersey’s economy by encouraging entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“The STEM fields represent the future of New Jersey,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Supporting men and women in these in-demand sectors will empower them not only to advance their own careers but also to create high-paying jobs and rebuild our economy.”

The bill (A-4241) would establish the New Jersey STEM Entrepreneur Fellowship Program in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD). The program would provide three-year fellowships to select individuals who present an idea to create or develop a product that will benefit society and ultimately generate a self-sustaining business.

“Our ability to succeed in a 21st-century global economy hinges on how well we can cultivate cutting-edge innovation in health care, engineering, information technology and various other STEM-related areas,” said Lagana. “This legislation is about making sure that our state’s best and brightest have access to the resources they need to build on the ideas that will move us forward.”

The program would be designed by the NJLWD in consultation with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the secretary of higher education. The Workforce Development Partnership Fund would provide financial support for the program.

Under the bill, the NJLWD, in consultation with the NJEDA, would evaluate the program five years after the legislation’s enactment to determine its effectiveness.

The measure was referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.