Queens, NY – Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D, WF-Fresh Meadows) announced today that the 2014-15 state budget contains critical funding for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives.
“Queens is positioning itself as an innovative leader in the high-tech industry, and this budget invests in programs that will facilitate the growth of more good-paying, quality jobs in our own backyard,” Rozic said.
The budget includes $8 million in funding for a new STEM scholarship program. Full tuition scholarships to any SUNY or CUNY college or university will be offered to the top ten percent of high school graduates if they pursue a STEM career and work in New York for five years.
“To continue our economic growth, New York State needs to remain a leader in every field. Investing in our engineering and technology workforce and finding creative ways to retain that talent will benefit every community and strengthen our vibrant economy,” Rozic added.
Last year, Rozic joined with Senator David Carlucci and Comptroller Scott Stringer at Queens College to announce the Empire Engineer Initiative Act (EEIA), a financial aid program for students who major in engineering and commit to work in New York for at least five years. The legislation was driven by the demand for a workforce better educated in the STEM fields.
Comptroller Scott Stringer said, “I’m grateful that Governor Cuomo, the State Legislature and in particular Assemblywoman Rozic have identified financial aid for STEM graduates as a critical tool to boost the competitiveness of our workforce and expand opportunities. Gifted students from across the country and around the world come to New York to be educated. This program will ensure that many of those young entrepreneurs put their education to work right here in the Empire State, growing jobs from Buffalo to Brooklyn.”
In the past, scholarships were made available to targeted groups, including social workers and nurses. This scholarship marks the first statewide financial aid program designed to encourage people to major in engineering and technology and to keep those skills in New York once they graduate.