Innovative Industries Internship Program Update
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 05/26/2020
Since last fall, CBSA has been advocating for an extension of the Innovative Industries Internship Program, which is set to expire July 1 of this year. The program incentivizes employers to find, hire, and train students and recent graduates by awarding matching grants of up to $5,000 per intern. It has been highly utilized by our life sciences ecosystem and has played a pivotal role in supporting small businesses and training our next-generation workforce.
Extending the internship program has been a priority for CBSA and our members. Since the bill’s introduction, we have worked closely with other innovative industries, partner organizations, and state policymakers to build support. When the COVID-19 outbreak began to escalate, CBSA adapted quickly and collaborated with the lead bill sponsor to offer amendments that would create the best opportunity for the bill to advance. Unfortunately, the state is facing an unprecedented economic downturn, and legislative leadership has been forced to reprioritize and reduce the bills moving forward. The Innovative Industries Internship bill will not advance this legislative session.
While we are disappointed with this outcome, we understand the difficult decisions the state legislature is facing during this time. CBSA will continue to cultivate a talent pipeline for our ecosystem and partner with state policymakers to champion workforce development initiatives for life sciences.
We also recognize that this outcome follows a significant decision by state legislators to preserve the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program, a critical source of non-dilutive funding for our ecosystem. That decision was a tremendous victory for CBSA and our life sciences ecosystem and a welcome recognition of the life-saving breakthroughs our community develops.