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February 24, 2020

After CT nixes STEM tax credit, Lamont announces fellowship pilot

Photo | CT Mirror/JENNA CARLESSO Gov. Ned Lamont during his second State of the State speech in February.

Gov. Ned Lamont is touting a newly created $5,000 grant that aims to keep recent college graduates living and working in Connecticut.

The Governor’s Innovation Fellowship is launching as a pilot program in the Stamford area this year, with the aim of expanding across the state next year, Lamont’s office said Monday. For the time being, it will be available for up to 25 high-achieving students identified by Connecticut universities and colleges.

The new program is the latest effort to keep more college graduates from leaving the state. Lawmakers are currently weighing an income tax deferral incentive for graduates who use the money to purchase a home.

The fellowship also comes after the 2020-2021 biennial budget passed by the legislature last year eliminated a $500 credit for STEM graduates, saving almost $20 million by 2024.

Lamont administration officials said recently that they want job incentives to be less costly to taxpayers.

The fellowship, which also includes career-mentoring services, will draw from a modest $125,000 funding pool made available by the state’s $30 million Innovation Places program, which has seeded efforts in Stamford, Hartford and elsewhere.

The quasi-public CTNext will oversee the fellowship funding awards.

There are nine employers participating in the Fairfield County pilot program thus far, including Henkel, Sema4 and others.

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February 24, 2020

There is a need for a job matching program, which will match and place Connecticut college graduates with local businesses. And keep the college graduates from leaving Connecticut. Right now, i do not see any job matching or placement programs being fostered between state universities and local businesses. College graduates are thrown into the water, it is not an easy place for those college graduates. No wonder they are leaving Connecticut in droves. We need them in Connecticut. Who is going to pay taxes when we all retire?

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