Beach, Greenstein Bill to Create the “New Jersey Life Sciences Internship Challenge” Clears Committee

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Linda R. Greenstein, which would create the “New Jersey Life Sciences Internship Challenge” program, cleared the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.

The bill, S-594, would incentivize New Jersey-based companies, with research laboratories, to hire summer interns in the life sciences field. The bill would help college students connect with life sciences companies and provide up to 150 State subsidized summer internships each academic year for eligible students working at a life sciences company.

“This program will provide pivotal incentives to encourage and enable smaller companies to hire and pay interns, creating new economic opportunities throughout the state,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden).  “New Jersey is home to countless life science companies, many of which have national reach.  Creating paid internship opportunities within these companies will provide college students with invaluable work experience and prepare them for future careers in the life sciences.”

Under the bill, a student must be a resident in the state or a full-time student in a New Jersey college or university and must have completed at least two years of college, or its equivalent in part-time credits, in order to be eligible. The program would not be open to individuals who received a bachelor degree more than a year before the start of the internship.

“The program is intended to help college students gain paid internship opportunities and valuable practical experience in their fields while at the same time creating incentives for smaller companies to tap into this pool and develop our future science and technology workforce,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “It’s a win-win for both the companies and the students, and for New Jersey’s economic vitality.”

In order for a research company to be eligible to receive a subsidy for an intern hired through the program, the company would need to have its principal place of business located in New Jersey and have less than 100 total employees.

Under the bill, the EDA would build a database of eligible applicants, with the applicants’ basic biographical information and full resume. Qualified pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies would be granted access to the database to select the interns.

The bill cleared the committee by a vote of 5-0 and next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.