At an event Tuesday at Audible’s headquarters in Newark, Choose New Jersey announced the launch of pilot programs for its new Smart Students initiative.
The program aims to address the issue of students that leave the state to pursue their further education, an occurrence that happens with New Jersey students at nearly twice the rate of the national average, or close to 35,000 students each year.
The program, launched Tuesday morning in Newark and later in the day in Camden, will incentivize top-performing students by offering the best youths from 44 schools who choose to attend a New Jersey college a one-time $2,000 scholarship and paid summer jobs at participating businesses for the three summers after their freshman, sophomore and junior years.
More than half of internships turn into jobs for the interns, according to Choose New Jersey.
Participating businesses include Audible, Public Service Enterprise Group, Atlantic City Electric, PNC Bank, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Hackensack University Health Network, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and others.
At the event Tuesday morning, Choose New Jersey CEO and President Michele Brown said, “That loss of the best and the brightest is completely antithetical to our mission at Choose New Jersey.”
She added: “Anything we can do as an organization to keep our talent here is good for our future (and) businesses.”
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